Korea International Cooperation in Agricultural technology (KOPIA) an international organization which falls under the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of South Korea in collaboration with the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) held a field evaluation for their current programs in Wedza district last Thursday.
KOPIA Zimbabwe Centre programs are focused on enhancing sustainable agricultural practices, income generation for rural small holder farmers thereby improving their livelihoods, reducing rural to urban migration through capacitating farmers, protecting the environment, and natural resource conservation and utilisation, development of new food and energy resources to cope with climate change, and the development of human resources by providing education and training programs in the areas of agriculture and food production. KOPIA and SIRDC have implemented numerous projects by sharing Korean and local technologies and jointly developing locally adaptable technologies for small holder farmers.
This visit gave an opportunity for the farmers to testify how KOPIA has changed their lives. Mr Augustine Matiza took time to explain how he has been rearing indigenous chickens under the KOPIA Indigenous Chickens project since the 4th October 2018 when he received 25 chickens, 21 hens and 4 cocks. This flock has grown ever since making the farmer realize profits from the sale of eggs, chicks and breeding stocks. Farmers highlighted that they have losses due to diseases, these have been addressed as explained by the farmer through separation of housing for different species as well as vaccinations against major diseases like the New castle a notifiable disease, Infectious coryza and Fowl pox. Building of fowl runs and fencing off an area only for chickens has helped increase their productivity and safety against predators. Fostering of farmers, disease forecasting and vaccination have help grow flocks in the community. These are the goals of the project. As witnessed during the evaluation visit the project goals are being achieved.
Current programs in Wedza
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Establishment of water and fertilizer management technology for sustainable production of Green leafy vegetables.
- To study on proper moisture and nutrient setting of green vegetables.
- To study on the integrated management of water and nutrients for the cultivation of green vegetables.
- To produce sustainable green vegetables through established soil moisture and nutrient management technologies
- An increase in production and productivity of selected commodities.
- An increase of annual household income and increased market integration.
- A smallholder agricultural production system that is better adapted to climate change. Reduced produce contamination and improved food safety and quality.
Technology development and dissemination of indigenous mushroom cultivation
- To identify and collect indigenous mushroom Amanita spp (Nhedzi) and Lactarius spp (Nzeveambuya).
- To develop spawn and other cultures for mushroom.
- To disseminate developed methods through farmer trainings in Wedza and Rusape districts. To generate income and improve nutrition for farmers.
- 100% good quality nontoxic spawn.
- An increase by at least 10% indigenous mushroom spawn.
- Income generation among small scale farmers through mushroom production.
- Improved nutrition through consumption of mushroom.
Advancement in breeding native chickens with artificial incubation brooding and rearing management practices.
- Advances in the technique of breeding native chickens that raise to 100 or so per farm,
- Technology dissemination for small holder farmers in Wedza district.
- Promotion of robust hatching through artificial incubation, brooding and rearing management practices.
- Development from a seasonally biased agricultural structure to a model that can generate annual income. Improve productivity through improved feed and animal health management.
- Improved scattering rate: (’21) 116 per year → (’22) 150 per year → (’23) 260 per year
- Reduction of mortality rate: (’21) 38% → (’22) 30% → (’23) 20%
- Increase in weight per chicken on sale: (’21) 1.6kg → (’22) 1.8kg → (’23) 2kg.