FAO supports Conservation Agriculture education in Lesotho

FAO supports Conservation Agriculture education in Lesotho

03/11/2015

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Lesotho recently conducted training sessions on climate-smart agriculture technologies including conservation agriculture, home gardening and nutrition. The training was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Ministry of Education and Training through the leadership of the National Curriculum Development Centre.

A total of 120 Senior Education Officers and resource teachers from all districts of the country participated in this series of training.
Climate-smart agriculture aims to help communities improve their food security while adapting to climate change. “Lesotho’s agricultural sector is affected by severe land degradation, which increases the intensity of climate-induced shocks and emergencies,” says Yves Klompenhouwer, FAO Representative in Lesotho. “It is critical to develop the practice of conservation agriculture in Lesotho as it increases soil quality, reduces soil erosion and enables families to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner”.

Earlier this year, 280 primary and secondary school teachers received the same training along with the distribution of a training material kit on home gardening and nutrition. In 2014, 260 teachers were also trained on conservation agriculture and received related training material to help them teach their students. A total of 300 schools have been reached so far.

Ms ‘Makhothalo Mohlori, a Berea District Resource Teacher, said about her participation: “I initially come to the training with some fears and misconceptions about conservation agriculture and home gardening and nutrition, but they were totally addressed during the sessions. The topics were very pertinent in addressing and counterbalancing the effects of climate change that cripple the ability of farming communities to produce their own food.”

Mohlori explains that the knowledge and skills she acquired from the training would certainly help her in supporting and mentoring the hands-on work of teachers she works with resulting in more efficient teaching to the learners.

“It is imperative that conservation agriculture is incorporated in the school curriculum to give it the weight and recognition it deserves”, she adds. “Now that we have been imparted with the relevant skills, we are going to lobby and advocate for conservation agriculture with the view of raising awareness to the communities, teachers and their fellow workmates.”

The training was funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.