By Nomatter Mubhawu
My name is Nomatter Mubhawu. I am 29 years old and I’m from Chinyika village in Gutu district in Masvingo province. Farming is something I have always enjoyed from a tender age. When I completed my studies I stayed home to farm. I didn’t chase other dreams or leave my home to go to the city in search of a job like what many of the youths do when they abandon their homes in search of “greener” pastures
However, I used conventional farming methods because that’s what I only knew. My awakening into agroecology happened in 2018 when I was selected to work as a volunteer for the Chinyika Community Development Trust, a local organisation promoting food self-sufficiency in Chinyika.
Soon after joining the organisation, I was selected to go and study for a Diploma in agroecology at Fambidzanai Permaculture Center. I completed my studies in 2020 and I am currently working as an agroecology Trainer for Chinyika Community Development Trust.
I work with three wards in Chinyika and I enjoy my work. I support farmers with knowledge of agroecology practices such as water harvesting, conservation agriculture, holistic land, and livestock management, and establish nutritional gardens.
There are 238 farmers in total who practice agroecology in the three wards where I work. I’m seeing drastic changes as a result of applying agroecological practices. For example, in 2019, farmers in Chinyika were getting an average of 15 buckets of finger millet from an area of 0, 3 hectares. However, the 2021-2022 season saw an increase to an average of 25 buckets on the same piece of land.
After noting the positive developments, I’m now also applying agroecology in my fields and many farmers are inviting me to their homesteads so that I share my knowledge on agroecology. I think in the future agroecology is going to be adopted by more farmers in the Gutu district and the results are speaking for themselves.
SOURCE: PELUM ZIMBABWE