The new publication ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Manual for agricultural education in Zimbabwe‘ seeks to address the country’s vulnerability to climate change coupled with unsustainable farming practices and lack of training of extension officers on climate change issues. The Manual describes technologies that are in line with the CSA principles i.e. food production adaptation and mitigation – all associated with the agriculture sector. The current agriculture syllabi at Zimbabwe learning centres do not holistically address these issues.
It is against this background that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through its technical arm – Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) – positively responded to the request for technical assistance in the development of a Climate-Smart Agriculture Manual for agriculture education in Zimbabwe as well providing some training to extension workers in the form of Training-of-Trainers.
The chapters in the Manual facilitate the development of methodologies associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security, and sustainable development. The focus of the Manual is to highlight the importance of assessing the mitigation and adaptation benefits of identified practices which increase productivity. The barriers to their adoption as well as the incentives available are clearly enunciated. Some of the CSA concepts discussed are: zero tillage, raised bed planting, crop residue management, crop diversification (horticulture, mushroom cultivation, etc.), agroforestry, water management (drip irrigation), rangeland management, advisories based on improved weather forecasting and ICT, general capacity building and knowledge sharing, energy management and efficiency as well as fisheries and aquaculture.