This project, facilitated by Delta NEWMAP and funded through SCCF commenced in March 2020 in two of our gully sites, Obomkpa and Ukwu-Nzu. This demonstration farm project aimed to build and strengthen the capacities of small-holder farmers who are already caught in the vicious cycle of poverty, food insecurity and natural resources degradation trap, to adapt to climate change, and thus decrease their vulnerability to the negative effects of the latter. The project responded to a demand from the community as noted during Catchment Management Planning to address the conditions of extreme vulnerability of farmers and other stakeholders in the two communities. In the demo farm sites at Obomkpa and Ukwu-Nzu, the project moved a step forward from seeking public understanding or appreciation on climate change to engagement, a process in which the farmers got to speak, plan and act having received training through capacity building exercise.
The project introduced improved species of crops, carried out mixed farming and employed technologies for irrigation such as drip irrigation to contribute to climate change adaptation. This is in recognition that climate conditions impact on farm produce through reduction in water quantity and it is thus important to test technologies for climate change adaptation in various forms of applications and situations.
The project focused especially on identification, testing, demonstration and dissemination of best cultural practices and technologies for soil and water management (better soil health / fertility and improved water management). It is anticipated that these results will then be used to improve the environmental targeting of farmers for land and water management techniques as part of efforts to promote farm-level and wider catchment or watershed adaptation to climate change. To contribute to increased resilience, these practices are accompanied by a diversification of sources of livelihoods (farming, ruminant breeding, production of organic fertilizer and dairy farming) to take full advantage of the available land and water resources and mitigate risks. Diversification is thus a crucial element for adapting to the negative impacts of climate change. Finally, sustainable increase in resilience can only happen if and when farmers have the knowledge and capacity to organize themselves in response to climate change. Strengthened rural communities and the institutions that serve them such as NEWMAP therefore become central to climate change adaptation programmes.
For improved water conservation in the communities, we set out to use Drip tapes for irrigation. This technology ensured that water wasn’t wasted through runoffs and usage was optimized per crop planted.