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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2018 in Ghent

"Global food security and food safety: The role of universities"

Fostering Multi-Stakeholder Co-Learning for more Sustainable Resource Use and Improved Livelihoods in Mozambique

Rosana Kral1, Axel Mentler2, Sebastian Postl3, Claudio Sixpence4, Sabine Homann-Kee Tui5

1University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Centre for Development Research, Austria
2University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Dept. of Forest and Soil Sciences, Austria
3University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Media Services, Austria
4Intern. Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Mozambique
5International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Zimbabwe


The central Mozambican provinces are climatically quite diverse. While some provide farmers with favourable environments, others make agriculture a complicated and risky endeavour for the hard-working and persistent. In Marara, in Tete province, the climate is semi-arid, around 600 mm of rain fall every year, but in just two months. In El Nino years, there is even less rain if any at all. The local farming systems are mostly rain-fed, and integrate crops and livestock. Goats, and to a lesser extent also cattle, are the systems' backbone. Information and inputs are hard to come by for farmers. Extension services are underequipped and cannot provide as much support as would be desirable.

In this challenging environment, our project seeks to understand how we can support a transition to more sustainable resource use and improved livelihoods for farmers. By using an open innovation platform approach, we aim at improving social and professional linkages between all actors: farmers, extension, private and governmental sector. Following a participatory identification of strengths, threats, opportunities and weaknesses, we provided technical trainings, encouraged experimentation and facilitated analysis. We want to build capacities and to foster co-learning of all actors. To stimulate self-organisation and to facilitate linkages with market actors and extension services, we included modern information and communication technology in the project set-up.

To accommodate farmers' deep interest in soil, we developed a soil health training that was tailored to the specific context in Marara. We visited several members of the innovation platform in their fields and interviewed these farmers about challenges and mitigation strategies. We prepared information on soil processes, related it to current agricultural management practices in the area, and chose four fields to visit with participants during the training. We documented several stages of the training implementation using video equipment. The trainings ended with a feedback workshop. Here, we want to present experiences with this type of training and lessons learned, as well as set these in relation to feedback from screenings of our video in several different settings.

Keywords: Extension, film, innovation platform, participation, training

Contact Address: Rosana Kral, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Centre for Development Research, Borkowskigasse 4, 1190 Vienna, Austria, e-mail: rosana.kral@boku.ac.at

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