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Conservation Agriculture and Armyworm awareness brought to schools of Lesotho
In the period April to June 2014, 260 teachers from primary and secondary schools from all ten districts of Lesotho participated in training on Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Armyworm awareness.
CA aims at giving farming households improved and sustainable livelihoods through the application of three principles: continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence and/or association.
CA provides an adequate adaptation technique for climate change in Lesotho and is affordable to all farmers. It protects the soil from erosion by water and wind, improves the soil’s organic matter and conserves the infiltration of soil water, while reducing farmers’ production costs.
The training also educated teachers on the biology and control measures against armyworm, a pest that affected Lesotho in an unprecedented manner in 2013. The trainings were organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) through the leadership of the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS).
Since the children are the future for Lesotho, FAO, NCDC and MAFS count on school teachers to disseminate knowledge among school kids who can bring the information to their homes and future livelihoods. Mr. Khathatso Maraisane, training organiser from NCDC, declares: “Conservation Agriculture methods help even very vulnerable people to become self-sufficient by producing their own food. With less investment, they can get higher yields. Informing future generations of the benefits of CA through school teaching will ensure enhanced food production and protection of the environment in the years to come”.
School teachers will receive during the month of July 2014 CA visual training materials in form of posters and photo guide developed by the National CA Task Force to assist them confidently teach CA principles across Lesotho. This activity was made possible by the support of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).