UNDFF-YenKasa Africa Radio initiative in Zambia

UNDFF-YenKasa Africa Radio initiative in Zambia

Zambia – Pasme Radio

Program Title: Introduction

Production Language: Nyanja

The guests introduced themselves in this session, stating their organization, location and job titles. In this session, there were three participants; Grace .M.  Mumba, lead farmer from Nyamia camp Petauke District, Hennery Zulu, Zonal coordinator of Petauke District and Romeo Phiri. Regional Cotton Coordinator of Nyimba and Petauke District.

Program Title: Land Preparation

Production Language: Nyanja

The discussion focused on what should be considered for land preparation using smart agriculture techniques for a proper harvest. The participants discussed smart agriculture and how farmers should prepare their lands to maintain land fertility. Land preparation is important because it loosens the soil, thus creating space and pore spaces in the soil mass of the layer that has been tilled and rainwater to penetrate more easily. It also provides favourable conditions for seed germination in that prepared land.

Program Title: Climate Change and Agro-Forestry Farming

Production Language: Nyanja

Another aspect of the discussion focused on climate change, its causes and the mitigation measures. Most farmers are aware of climate change and its effects in Zambia. They promote afforestation and promoting conservation farming. As opposed to the number of awareness on afforestation, there are still a number of people unaware of this importance and, therefore, still cut down trees and burn charcoals.

Sustainable cotton production in the Agroforestry system is the most important agroforestry tree species.  Agroforestry crop production is the collective term for land use systems and technologies in which woody perennials like trees, shrubs, palms, bamboo and agricultural crops. This helps good production (e.g. rice, vegetables, tobacco).  The major aim is to restore degraded land and improve the livelihoods of the local population through sustainable agroforestry of cotton and other types of seeds.

The use of crop rotation helps return nutrients to the soil without synthetic inputs. The practice also works to interrupt pest and disease cycles, improve soil health by increasing biomass from different crops roots structures and increase biodiversity on the farm.

Program Title: Establish tree nurseries

Production Language: Nyanja

This session noted that tree nursery operations involve various activities such as seed sourcing, seed preparation, sowing seeds, potting, pricking out, shading, watering, weeding, root pruning, and application of additional fertilizers or manure. There are basically activities that take place during managing tree nurseries.  Participants mentioned the importance of tree planting using two nurseries with 10.000 species (Trees) as an example to engage the schools and revamp the orchards so that benefits can be appreciated and tree planting can be part of school activities, communities and involving children in the tender age. Climate change needs teamwork; hence planting trees must embrace by all if the environment is to be preserved.

Program Title: Community Forest Management Area

Production Language: English

The session discussed that through Forest and farm Producers (FFP), they established community-based forest management in two chiefdoms. The FFP’s aim is to get involved in forest governance to ensure the sustainability of forest resources and the equitable distribution of access to and benefits from them.

Community forest management is a cultural and spiritual practice. It is a way of life developed by indigenous people and local communities, and there are steps to establish a community forest management area. The discussion was that government officials must be involved, the chief and other traditional leaders, and the community. Sensitization on what it is and why and also to mention some alternative ways of mitigating measures.

The discussion session stated the importance of forests: they purify the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, prevent erosion, and act as an important buffer against climate change.  Forests offer a home to many of the world’s diverse plants and animals and provide essential natural resources, from timber and food to medicinal plants.  Trees also add beauty, improve personal health, reduce air pollution, provide shelter, save energy, and increase the country’s economic stability.