Simple labour-saving ways to boost maize and rice harvests in southern Africa. Validated RNRRS Output.


This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID's 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Summary based on multiple projects. Farmers in dry uplands in southern Africa mainly grow maize. In wetlands, where their fields flood in the rainy season, they intercrop maize with rice. But maize and rice are labour-intensive and harvests were poor. Now, farmers use simple labour-saving practices and work their oxen more effectively. New farmer groups in Masvingo, Zimuto, Mshagashe, Chatsworth and Chivito, Zimbabwe, are spreading the word that soaking seeds, planting on ridges to combat waterlogging, ridging fields to get rid of weeds, and conserving moisture in furrows and pits saves work and boosts harvests. The Universities of Zimbabwe and Gweru, and agricultural colleges also now teach these and other practices. Plus, seeing the benefits for themselves, farmers are quick to copy what obviously works.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Current Promotion, Impacts On Poverty, Environmental Impact, Annex. Attached PDF (17 pp.) taken from the CD.


CPP48, New technologies, new processes, new policies: tried-and-tested and ready-to-use results from DFID-funded research, Research Into Use Programme, Aylesford, Kent, UK, ISBN 978-0-9552595-6-2, p 13.

Published 1 January 2007