FAO led and Joint Activities 

Multipurpose integrated water resource management systems
There is a critical shortage of water for livestock, and existing points are not well distributed across the rangeland. This leads to localized overgrazing around existing water points and rotational grazing is hampered by this situation. The systems provide drinking water for people and animals, as well as water for irrigation. 

Small-scale crop irrigation systems
In general, the main constraint on irrigated cropping is lack of water, exacerbated by the irregularity of rains. Thus, a key intervention to increase production is to provide water for small-scale irrigation for members of village-level farmers'associations.

  • Drip irrigation systems were installed, based on the water scarcity and sandy soil, drip being the most efficient system under such conditions.  

Conservation Agriculture
Afer years of being adviced to clean-weed their fields, and partly because of their investments and income potential from draft animals and implements, farmers tended to resist the concept of CA. However, practices such as minimum tillage, mulching and crop rotation among others are being promoted in the context of the UNJP.

Animal traction
Although there is widespread use of cattle (and donkeys) for animal traction and farmers generally know how to use their animals for farm work and transport, the project identified the need for training in some aspects of animal traction, including improved ploughing techniques, proper use of donkeys and animal welfare.

Livestock production and health
Animal health promoters from 13 communities were trained to provide basic veterinary services to livestock farmers; furthermore, 9 livestock treatment corridors were built for livestock health promoters to treat animals against ticks, and conduct vaccination campaigns against anthrax, black leg, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and others, with impacts of this intervention already visible on animal health and production,  resulting in higher income from livestock. Livestock represents a major livelihood base, therefore increasing its production is a priority. FAO supported in the rehabilitation of a slaughterhouse that had been shut-down by the local goverment due to hygienic regulations and assisted in the building of a second one and they currently represent a major cash income for local families; however, health needs must be addressed urgently as to maintaing the well functioning of the slaughterhouses. An innovative feature in the infrastructure is the solar energy used to pump water from the underground.

Grazing management and animal husbandry
Training is being provided through workshops to government and community leaders for improved land and pasture management. Until now, cattle grazed closer to the villages during the rainy season, moving further away as the dry season progresses, thus suffering serious loss of weight and health by the end of the dry season. FAO is encouraging livestock farmers to graze the furthest areas with the least access to water first, and move progressively closer to the areas with watering points closer to the villares, as the dry season progresses.

Community-based natural forest management (CBNFM)
In response to prolonged droughts, rural communities have been turning increasingly to the forest for food and a source of income. Charcoal burning is increasing at an alarming rate that exceeds sustainable limits due to a quick cash return and a ready market in Maputo  and other urban centres. The CBNFM aims at establishing a management plan as a tool for sustainable forest use, by officially registered community forestry management associations, community-based management plans and trained forest guards at work.

Various agroforestry systems were identified as appropriate for the area according to feasibility studies made in the context of the UNJP. However, this must be implemented in fenced-off areas, where trampling and consumption of seedlings are secured from livestock. The study identified the following types of agroforestry:

  • home orchards
  • trees and live fences for delineatory pruposes
  • scattered trees 
  • multipurpose trees, grass sepcies and legumes  

Integrated fish and small animal farming
Fish farming (aquaculture) was identified as having good potential as an alternative source of food and income, thus helping communities adapt to climate change, and was introduced into the JP during the second programme year.  Fish farming is being integrated with small animals (pigs, ducks, rabbits) in farmer associations where small-scale irrigated crop farming is also being developed along the Limpopo river. The reason for this is not only access to water, but also access to organic waste from crop production (unmrketable excess production and other vegetative waste). High variability of crop production can create feed supply issues wehre, for example,  significant delays in crop production can cause a scarcity of food for the pigs and ducks. Improved crop planning for year-round harvests should overcome this problem.

The beekeeping (apiculture) activity was started only half-way through the project. Honey is a highly sustainable forst production with a ready market and good alternative income earning potential, and with many additional benefits (e.g. nutrition, anti-bacterial properties). Beekeeeping is expected to become a valuable option in climate change adaptation strategies, with good potential for expansion in this predominantly forested district.

Agroprocessing and marketing
To help overcome marketing difficulties for farm products where road access is poor and distances long, FAO/SDAE is promoting simple preservation and processing techniques for egetables, fruit and meat. These include sun drying of vegetables, making of jam and tomato sauce, peanut butter making and drying of meat to make "biltong". Assistance is also being provided in developing the successful marketing of crop surpluses.

Multiple Use Resource Center (CERUM)
UNJP is assisting in the building of a Multiple Use Resource Centre (CERUM) where it is planned to test and demonstrate a range of technologies adapted for use in semi-arid areas affected by climate change and continue to train local farmers. A 6-hectare site on the outskirts of Eduardo Mondlane has been ceded by the district government for this purpose. Field-based adaptive research for, amongst others, rainfed crop production (e.g. drought tolerant and short cycle crops), grain storage, conservation agriculture, water harvesting, fish farming, livestock farming, alternative industries and renewable energy will be focused on identifying and testing technologies suitable for arid areas and as adaptive strategies to climate change.

Meteorological data and communications
The weather station network in Mozambique is critically insufficient, a situation brought about by the civil war and other causes of damage, including climate disasters. In the context of the UNJP project, FAO and UNEP have jointly purchased an automated meteorological station installed in the CERUM site. The weather station will greatly improve the monitoring and forecasting of seasonal agrometeorological conditions and related advice to farmers, and understanding and dealing with intra- an interseasonal climate variability in the region. It will also provide essential real-time information for the early warning system in the district.

Biogas generation and composting using animal waste
Renewable energy technologies identified for Chicualcuala include solar energy for groundwater pumping and biogas based on animal waste.  Biogas represents an efficient and relatively easy way to generate energy in the form of gas, whilst simultaneously eliminating organic waste, particularly that generated by livestock. The UNJP has sponsored the building of a biogas production unit in Mepuza with the community having produced bricks locally for the construction of biodigesters that will be fed with animal manure.

last updated:  Wednesday, June 6, 2012