Farming in a changing climate

Farmers in Southern Africa are experiencing more frequent devasting droughts. In the regions of Bulilima and Gwanda, rivers and wetlands have dried up. When rain does fall it is heavy and washes away top soil, causing further desertification.

This means that farmers are unable to grow enough food to feed their families, leading to many rural communities needing food aid. This restricted diet has let to many children becoming malnourished, which affects both their physical and mental development.  Women spend many hours digging for water and collecting it in buckets. This severely restricts the amount of land they are able to cultivate.

Solar energy turns the lights on in Zimbabwe

How we are helping

We're helping communities to install solar powered pumping equipment to irrigate their crops. By combining this with skills training and improved seeds, farmers in Zimbabwe are able to double their food production and increase their income. This enables them to move from reliance on food aid to self-sufficiency, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty for good and protect the environment for future generations.

Our agriculture work is helping farmers with:

  • Access to the best seeds for arid land and climate
  • Irrigation with solar powered water pumping systems
  • Training in the better land management
  • Building business skills so farmers collectively plan what they grow and when and where to sell it for maximum income
  • Empowering women to have a greater say in decisions that affect their lives

Betty's new entrepreneurial spirit

Betty Ncube lives in Gwanda, Zimbabwe. Three years of devastating droughts and flooding have caused a lot of damage in this region. As a result, Betty used to struggle to grow enough food on her farm to feed herself and her family. Her days were spent looking for casual work and she had to bor...

Read more

Solar powered irrigation

Solar powered irrigation systems help farmers to grow a greater quantity and variety of crops.  This will not only improve the nutrition of their families, but also provide fresh food for their community in local markets when they have a surplus. Community management of the systems ensures that they are properly maintained and will supply sustainable energy for many years.

Business skills

We're helping farmers build their business skills so they can collectively plan what they grow and where and when to sell it for maximum income.  We're also supporting women's groups so that women can have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives.

Better seeds

Good seeds are the foundation of a good harvest. More drought resistant seed varieties can make a huge difference to crop production.  We are working with farmers to help them use techniques adapted to arid climates and to choose seeds that are drought and pest resistant. 

“Already this training has allowed me to become more independent financially. I am now able to borrow small loans from the group, manage it well and repay it as as I grow my project!” Anastacia Ncube, Gwanda, Zimbabwe


Agriculture and energy projects

We are working with small scale farmers in Southern Africa to help them introduce, sustainable, innovative farming methods that will improve their yields and their incomes.

Read more

Solar irrigation for food security

Solar powered irrigation to help farmers move from subsistence to commercial farming.

Read more

Renewable energy empowering women farmers

In dry areas of Zimbabwe farmers are unable to produce enough food because of a lack of irrigation

Read more

Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities

This project is helping families survive future droughts, put food on their tables and sell surplus crops to earn a living by connecting irrigation schemes to solar-powered mini-grids.

Read more

Keep up to date with our work

Get updates straight to your inbox every month

Blogs from Southern Africa

A tonic for development

Lack of access to modern, affordable and sustainable renewable energy services for the rural popu...
Read more

Powering education in Zimbabwe

Globally, 1.3 billion people have no access to energy and it’s this lack of access that is kee...
Read more

Youth driving transformation of African agriculture

On 16th and 17th February, the MasterCard Foundation will host the Young Af...
Read more

Towards pro-poor innovation systems for sustainable energy

This article is informed by research conducted at Practical Action’s Southern Africa offices in H...
Read more

Zai pit technology increasing yields in Mutasa

Enneta Kudumba is one of the many farmers in Mutasa district, Manicaland Province who have succes...
Read more

What I took home from the 2016 SEEP Conference

The 2016 SEEP conference was my second.  At my first. in 2012 I was one of the presenters on Part...
Read more

no comments