Sustainable Agriculture Technology
Cimmyt- Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA)- Funded by Cimmyt

Cimmyt- Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA)- Funded by Cimmyt

These demonstrations are widespread throughout different locations and ecological climate zones...

WFP- Productive Asset Creation (PAC) (Funded by DFID)

WFP- Productive Asset Creation (PAC) (Funded by DFID)

SAT continued the existing partnership with GIZ who provided the complementary support to achieve...

Seeds & Markets Project – GRM (SAMP) –Swaziland

Seeds & Markets Project – GRM (SAMP) –Swaziland

From October 2010, GRM has been implementing a multi country smallholder agricultural development...

Zim-AIED – Funded by USAID

Zim-AIED – Funded by USAID

Zimbabwe Agricultural Incomes and Employment Development Programme (Zim-AIED)-Agribusiness Hub...

Zimbabwe Extension Support and Training (ZEST) - Funded by the EU

Zimbabwe Extension Support and Training (ZEST) - Funded by the EU

The specific aim of the Action is to develop and test methods and means to improve the quality...

  • Cimmyt- Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA)- Funded by Cimmyt

    Cimmyt- Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA)- Funded by Cimmyt

    Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:44
  • WFP- Productive Asset Creation (PAC) (Funded by DFID)

    WFP- Productive Asset Creation (PAC) (Funded by DFID)

    Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:04
  • Seeds & Markets Project – GRM (SAMP) –Swaziland

    Seeds & Markets Project – GRM (SAMP) –Swaziland

    Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:50
  • Zim-AIED – Funded by USAID

    Zim-AIED – Funded by USAID

    Saturday, 17 May 2014 21:03
  • Zimbabwe Extension Support and Training (ZEST) - Funded by the EU

    Zimbabwe Extension Support and Training (ZEST) - Funded by the EU

    Saturday, 17 May 2014 22:11

THE TEAM

From Left: Talkmore Mukuyu. Tendekai Mudimu, Mercy Muchingami, John Chinyama, Michele Bragge, Stephanie Mennie, Bryan Saunders.
        

BRYAN SAUNDERS

Projects Supervisor
(General)

Bryan has a BSc in Agriculture and has worked for SAT for the past 8 years, mainly covering Conservation Agriculture in the communal areas. He currently is responsible for the training and extension programs in the communal areas, backed by a team of project managers.

MICHELE BRAGGE

Projects Coordinator
(Finance & Administration)

Michele has been working for 20 years in administration and finance in the agricultural sector, and she is one of the founders of both the Union Project and SAT and has been running the finance and administration of SAT since its inception in 2007.

DR CHAP MASTERSON BVSc MRCVS

With 14 years’ experience as a wildlife veterinarian, Chap brings a background of conservation & wildlife management to the SAT team as Coordinator of the EU-WILD programme.

TALKMORE MUKUYU

Consultant
(General)

Talkmore has a degree in Agriculture and has worked on various agricultural projects since the late 1990’s. He has consulted to the Union Project and SAT since 2004.


TENDEKAI MUDIMU

Zim-AIED SAT Project Manager

Tendekai holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honors Degree in Crop Science and has worked for SAT since 2009 on various projects. He is currently involved in managing the Zim-AIED project in 8 districts.


JOHN CHINYAMA

Consultant

John has a BSc in Agricultural Management and over 14 years’ experience working in the agricultural and NGO sector. He has been managing various projects for SAT since 2011.

SWEDI PHIRI

M&E Officer

STEPHANIE MENNIE

Accountant

LETICIA HARI

Bookkeeper

LAZARUS SANDE

Logistics Officer

MERCY MUCHINGAMI

Secretary

Holds a certificate in Secretarial studies. Has 25 years progressive experience in Secretarial/PA Field and working for SAT since October 2010 to date. Plans and coordinates events, meetings and conferences. Currently the PA to the financial controller and other Consultants. Joined SAT in 2010.

RUNYARADZO KOROKA

Data-Capture Clerk

MORESTAFF MALOWA

Driver

SAT ORGANOGRAM

SAT currently employs over 30 experienced staff (with access to an additional 70+ staff on file) to conduct it’s ongoing projects. All field staff have agricultural diplomas or certificates and have a minimum of five year’s farming experience. They are supported by agronomic consultants from the private sector, who include ex-commercial farmers and agronomists, specialized in large scale agriculture. All SAT personnel also had extensive Conservation Agriculture training through the Foundation For Farming facilities as well as own in-house training programs.

All field staff are equipped with modes of transport, protective clothing, cellphones for communication, laptops, access to email and scales for measuring the crop production. Extension workers reside within the community they serve to be able to provide immediate and constant support. Many SAT staff are fluent in local languages such as ChiShona, ChiManica and Portuguese.

ABOUT US

SAT History & Mission Statement


In Africa, with Zimbabwe being no exception, agricultural productivity differs greatly between large scale agricultural enterprises and small scale farms. Major parameters that express this difference are yields per ha, the quality of any product as well as the maintenance of soil quality. SAT (Sustainable Agriculture Trust) was formed in 2007 with the expressed aim to bridge this divide.

Mission Statement


A Mission Statement was formulated:

  • To be the most efficient and effective implementing partner of sustainable farming projects in the Southern African region.
  • To ensure food security for participating farmers within the shortest possible time.
  • To ensure financial security through adequate production for participating farmers within the shortest possible time.
  • To help participating farmers to become self-sufficient.
  • To work within the framework provided by the Government of Zimbabwe, and to create individual and national wealth and employment opportunities
  • To operate as a non-profit making organization.
  • To access the best technical expertise and experience to transfer such knowledge, skill and expertise to the target group through highly trained and dedicated staff.
  • To build long-term relationships with donors and farmers through quality training and farmer support programs.
  • To support recoverable inputs credit schemes.
  • To follow principles of sustainable agriculture and Conservation Agriculture (CA).

In 2011 the process to register as a Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) was completed and SAT was listed as SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY under registration number 09/11.

A SUSTAINABLE APPROACH


International support for the agricultural sector has focused mainly on seed and fertilizer assistance to increase yields and food security. In general, these interventions cannot achieve a full impact as they form only a single component of production (e.g. inputs, irrigation). Projects have to add value to these inputs by incorporating crop management, land use and marketing issues that link adequate food production to higher income generation of the household. As such, the main thrust of a project must be to increase overall household productivity and financial security through improved production as a result of improved management and the efficiency of land use. Field operations must focus on good management practices, including timely land preparation and planting, correct spacing of the plant population, appropriate weeding, fertilizing and plant protection. Tillage constraints are to be compensated for through the introduction of reduced or zero tillage and Conservation Agriculture (CA) technologies. These measures in combination with the input support are expected and have already shown to increase yield levels significantly.

In line with these parameters, SAT helps farmers to achieve:

  • Food security, quality and nutritional variety on an increased and stable level.
  • Surplus production for additional income.
  • Transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming.

SAT offers a unique combination of:

  • Daily services by a resident extension worker to solve day-to-day agricultural problems as well as management and financial decisions.
  • Demonstration sites to showcase crop rotation, correct fertilizer levels, livestock husbandry practices etc.
  • Regular field days to keep farmers informed about latest developments.
  • Logistical support for supply of inputs, including transport.
  • Access to micro-finance.
  • Excellent connections to companies that offer contract growing.
  • Use of Good Agricultural Practice’s (GAP) to increase and maintain fertility and water holding capacity of the soil.
  • Through excellent relationships with NGO´s, SAT is able to provide specific expertise for mainstreaming such cross-cutting issues as HIV/AIDS and gender in agriculture; protection of natural resources etc.

     

    Success

    SAT, since its foundation in 2007, has seen extraordinary growth and is today the largest local provider for GAP agricultural interventions in Zimbabwe.

    Total Households Assisted Per Year

    FUTURE PLANS

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) originated on large scale farming enterprises, mainly to deal with soil degradation. It developed into a “way of life” from there. Combined with sound management practices and environmental concerns, it can be applied to any farming enterprise in any region, taking into account the local problems. With its experience SAT can now offer its services to small scale and large scale farmers alike. SAT has close links with Foundation For Farming (FFF), a pioneer for CA in Zimbabwe.

    SAT´s proven methods of intensive extension and demonstration are also covering:

    • Livestock Management

      Improved livestock management, which includes simple breeding techniques leading to a healthy, more productive livestock unit. Pressure on the land through overgrazing etc. is removed. A well-managed livestock unit provides adequate nutrition as well as financial benefits.
    • Wildlife Management

      The commercial use and management of wildlife and natural resources can be integrated into the concept of sustainable agriculture, for the benefit of the participants as well as the environment.
    • Infrastructure development

      Through its partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) Food for Assets Project & GIZ DETA Project SAT is involved with borehole rehabilitation, road repairs, weir construction, dam construction and dip tank rehabilitation.
    • Extension & Training in Good Agricultural Practises (GAP)

      Technical extension services remain a critical factor for raising smallholder output, which is frequently insufficient to even meet subsistence needs. The extension services lack resources, experience and know-how for translating their technical targets into advisory contents tailored to the needs of the target group. Smallholder enterprises therefore lack the necessary strategies for appropriate use of agricultural inputs. Consequently, the ZEST project currently being implemented by SAT for GIZ and funded by the EU has addressed these needs through capacity support of public extension departments through the provision of equipment, logistical support followed by quality Training of Trainers (TOT) approach and the cascading of information and knowledge with sound extension tools (demonstration sites, thematic exchange visits, key handouts, mobile training, new technology) in order to meet the needs of the communal farmer to improve his outputs and ensure food security. We would recommend a roll-out of the principles of this project due to it’s impact and support from key stakeholders within the rural setup as well as at Ministry level.
    • Group Development: Farmer self-organisation

      Farmer self-organisation is key to improved performance in terms of food security but also marketing of cash crops. In the smallholder context, the formation of groups is one approach to minimise transaction costs for input sourcing and output marketing. However, functioning groups require sound, transparent and democratic guidelines and principles in order to create inclusion for every member and to minimise abuse of groups’ resources by individuals. Therefore, issues of defining joint norms and values, democratic and transparent principles and accountability are keys to improve bonding, bridging and linking of farmer groups.
    • Farming As A Business training

      Farmers require training in crop and livestock production models, value chains and cost benefit analysis in order to enable them to make sound business decisions. This, coupled with basic budgets, cash flows, reconciliations and annual record-keeping will strengthen their commercial potential.
    • Access to Information

      Through various Information Systems platforms currently being developed in Zimbabwe some farmers will have access to market, weather, finance and technical information crucial to their continued operations. A key area would be to explore means of expanding access by farmers to this information possibly through supporting district-level farmer group or business hub points with computer equipment, access to the internet and the relevant training in the use of the equipment and information as well as setting up a sustainable means of continued access once the project reached its conclusion.
    • Climate Change

      Zimbabwe has been identified as a geographical climate hotspot as it has to cope with higher rainfall variability and more unpredictable weather patterns in general. Therefore, adaptation to climate change including improved irrigation and water management practices become a must for smallholder farming systems. Increasing the resilience of farming households through appropriate farming systems including value chains is important to make them less vulnerable.
    • Partnering with the private sector

      The revival of a vibrant private sector in the agricultural sector is crucial for the sustainable development of the rural areas in Zimbabwe. The development of inclusive business models such as contract farming will contribute to strong linkages between smallholders and other stakeholders of the value chain. In order to reduce information asymmetries, the dissemination of relevant market information and the training of farmer groups in business skills are important prerequisites for a fair and transparent business relationship.
    • Mechanisation

      Up scaling of mechanisation (tractor and ox drawn ) planters and related equipment with regards to availability, training and implementation especially in the more productive regions. Conservation Agriculture (CA) mechanization is the next step for a small scale farmer to improve his livelihood, not only by providing easier ways of land preparation, sowing, weeding and harvesting, but by allowing the farmer to increase his cropping area through the use of CA machinery. Specialized concepts have to cater for whole communities, considering methods of CA at the same time.
    • Vocational training

      Not everyone in a community can be a good farmer but other skills are necessary to support the farming enterprises, e.g. mechanical, electrical, brick-making, latrine construction, road-building, value-addition of agricultural products etc and SAT can assist in providing this training.
    • Recently SAT opened offices in Lesotho and Swaziland and has implemented projects in Mozambique and negotiating with partners in DRC and Zambia.

    STRENGTHS OR COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE OF SAT

    1. SAT’s main advantage is that since inception in 2007 it has been conducting and implementing projects with and through the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Department (MAMID) according to the needs of the communal farmer and where possible providing logistical support to public extension departments in order to perform their task of providing quality training and information to the communal farmer. This long-standing relationship has resulted in letters of recommendation from MAMID and a MOU with the Ministry of Agriculture in order to express their interest in working together with SAT to implement programmes and has been developed over the years at National, Provincial and District levels in terms of good coordination, joint planning, collaboration and joint implementation and monitoring of projects.
    2. SAT also has knowledge of all districts in Zimbabwe, according to the farming systems of the different Natural Regions (NR) and has developed the required extension tools to conduct the relevant transfer of knowledge in order to improve the output of small scale farmers.
    3. SAT’s field school or demonstration site approach has been adopted by FAO and many other organisations as the most effective real-time training tool for small-scale farmers.
    4. SAT employs its hands-on experience to demonstrate good agricultural practices, innovative cropping systems and methodologies which can be used to improve and maximize yields and gross margins and ultimately shift households from the margins of commercial production to become profitable farmers who adopt a modern, market-driven and business-oriented approach to their farming operations.

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

    1. CA - Conservation Agriculture
    2. ECHO - European Commission Humanitarian Office
    3. EU - European Union
    4. FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization
    5. FFF - Foundation For Farming
    6. GAP - Good Agricultural Practice’s
    7. GTZ / GIZ – Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit /Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
    8. SAT – Sustainable Agriculture Technology
    9. SNV - Mozambique (Netherlands Development Organisation)
    10. WFP - World Food Program

    The main thrust of a project must be to increase overall household productivity and financial security through improved yields as a result of improved management and the efficiency of land use.  

     

    Field operations must focus on good management practices, including timely land preparation and planting, correct spacing of the plant population, appropriate weeding, fertilizing and plant protection.