Support for Small Scale Climate Smart Agriculture in the Lower Olifants

Subgrant title: Support for Small Scale Climate Smart Agriculture in the Lower Olifants

This project falls under the Agricultural Support Initiative.

A number of key issues emerged with regard to vulnerabilities associated with climate change futures during Phase I of RESILIM-O. In summary these centre on the fact that residents of communal lands are likely to face increasing food insecurity in a hotter and potentially drier future associated with current climate change projections, particularly in the lower Olifants catchment.

The overarching objective of the project is to provide support for increased adaptive capacity and resilience to the effects of climate change for households involved in agriculture in select communities of the Olifants River Catchment through:

1. Improved soil and water conservation and agro-ecological practices for increased food security
2. Livelihood diversification and supplementation through alternative climate resistant production;
3. Increased community empowerment as a result of self-organisation and collective action.

This will be done through working with groups of interested farmers in selected villages by building a local picture of risk and resilience (Socio-ecological) using a systems approach (vision and principles), scenario planning (farm design processes) and a spiral model of implementation (action learning); Participants try out new ideas (farmer level experimentation) individually and jointly and through a process of reflection and adaptation of these ideas enhance their adaptive capacity.

Emphasis will be placed on methodologies and approaches for improved soil and water conservation strategies, livelihoods diversification (increased and diversified production of vegetables, fruit and field crops and integration of small livestock) and value adds (such as entrepreneurial opportunities and diversification of income options). Soil and water conservation and management practices should greatly increase the overall availability of water for productive purposes during the wet season and create options for extending the growing season. It is also widely recognised that agro-ecological agricultural approaches offer substantive and tenable ways to build resilience to the predicted impacts of climate change.