Ottosdal: Farmer innovations in Conservation Agriculture (CA) systems for sustainable crop intensification in semi-arid, sandy soil conditions, North West Province
This project was initiated in 2013 through collaboration between the Grain SA CA Farmer Innovation Programme (FIP) and the Ottosdal No-till Club. A number of key stakeholders, who could play a role in the implementation of the project, were identified and involved at the start of the project. These stakeholders include the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and SGS, who have been partnering with local CA farmers around various activities. A number of work packages were designed and are collectively implemented, monitored and managed by the project team that comprises local farmers and technical partners.
The work packages are: soil, cover crops, agronomy, farmer facilitation and project management. The two key activities are on-farm, farmer-led trials and awareness events and materials, such as an annual CA conference. The trials form the basis of all the other activities in the project and investigate aspects such as soil health, plant densities, crop rotations, cover crops and cultivars.