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Conservation Agriculture Regional working group, southern Africa
March 2010



Conservation Agriculture Regional working group FANRPAN has been contracted by the United Nations Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) to coordinate the Regional Conservation Agriculture Study Tour for Policy and Decision Makers in Zimbabwe, March 2010.

In response to recommendations coming out of the April 2009 tour and from the Conservation Agriculture (CA) Regional Working Group Meeting held in September 2009, two regional CA study tours are being organised this year again with financial support from USAID/OFDA, the Royal Norwegian Government and the Swedish Governmentís SIDA. The first study tour, planned for 10-12 March 2010, targeted farmersí unions and agricultural extension from southern Africa. As the voice of the farmers, farmer unions are a vital link between government policy makers, private sector and the farmers as the region strives to expand CA application in the region. The second study tour, held 24-25 March 2010 in Zimbabwe, provided an opportunity for policy and decision makers and farmer unions to interact and share ideas and explore ways and mechanisms to embrace CA in national and regional plans and policies. The two events brought together participants from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The outcomes from the farmersí unions and extension study tour fed into the policy and decision makers study tour.

Objectives of the Farmersí Unions and Extension Study Tour
  1. To bring together farmersí unions and agricultural extension officers from southern Africa to jointly learn about conservation agriculture impacts.
  2. To identify the extension and technical support needs of farmers which should be addressed in the short, medium and long term in order to facilitate wider practice of CA by farmers in the region
Expected Outputs of Farmersí Unions and Extension Study Tour
  1. Farmer Representatives from southern Africa are more aware of the CA activities and the potential benefits of CA in sustainable food production.
  2. Ways of refining CA for various categories of farmers identified.
  3. Recommendations on how farmersí unions in the region can become more engaged in CA activities and support farmers on this intervention. These will feed into the discussions to be held during the regional CA tour for policy and decision makers from the region.
Objectives of the Policy and Decision Makersí Study Tour
  1. To bring together Policy and Decision Makers and Farmersí Unions from southern Africa to jointly learn and dialogue about conservation agriculture impacts.
  2. To identify mechanisms and support requirements for CA expansion in the short-, medium- and long-term.
Expected Outputs of the Policy and Decision Makersí Study Tour
  1. Policy makers in Southern Africa are more aware of the CA activities and the potential benefits of CA in improving food security.
  2. Ways of embracing CA in national and regional plans and programmes explored.
Regional CA Study Tour for Policy Makers

Jointly organised by NEPAD, COMESA, SACAU and FAO in liaison with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development in Zimbabwe, sponsored by FAO through the generous support form USAID-OFDA, SIDA and the Royal Norwegian Government.

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