Climate change and the efficacy of conservation agriculture in the 2015/2016 farming season: a case study of smallholder farmers in Sianzyundu Ward (Binga).

Author: Mlilo, Rejoice B.

The study was an exploration of the efficacy of conservation agriculture in the 2015/2016 farming season in Sianzyundu ward in Binga. A meta-analysis on the 2015/2016 farming season provides a gloomy picture of events, the season has been the worst ever recorded in the past decade for most parts of the world. The early stage of the season was characterized with severe rainfall deficits, delays in the onset of the season, heat waves as well as a hot and dry spells. Heavy downpours were experienced in February and March 2016. The 2915 Elnino insurgency resulted in wide scale droughts such as crop loses, food insecurity and poor agricultural production was felt especially in East and Southern Africa. The study endowed a triangulation method and the objectives were to examine the perceptions of farmers on climate change and to explore the impact of conservation agriculture as a mitigation strategy to climate change induced food insecurity. The findings of the study are that climate change is now a widely recognized phenomenon and its effects have gained severity such that they cannot be ignored. Conservation Agriculture now remains Africa’s only hope for farming and mitigating climate change induced food insecurity. Conservation Agriculture in the 2015/2016 farming season was shaken (for Sianzyundu ward). The majority of conservation farmers will experience a decline in their yields for this season and food insecurity at household level is likely to prolong throughout the year 2016. However, a few farmers replanted and these will get a bumper harvest in the season as compared to the past seasons.