Peace Parks Foundation and partners have been training farmers in the Simalaha Community Conservancy in conservation agriculture techniques. These environmentally-friendly farming techniques allow for a variety of crops to be grown all year round while responsibly managing and protecting natural resources.

Today, Simalaha’s Conservancy Assistant, Brian Mulomba, takes us with to a review meeting for so-called contact farmers from across the conservancy who are responsible for passing on their knowledge of conservation agriculture with others in their villages.

Brian shows the hall where there are representatives present from across all ten Village Action Groups (VAGs) within the Simalaha Community Conservancy. As Simalaha is following a community-led approach to conservation, all the VAGs have a say in the governance of the conservancy on behalf of their communities. They are included in decisions around the development of the region.

The purpose of today’s meeting is for both VAGs and contact farmers to come together to share ideas, concerns or questions that will further enable farmers to reap the rewards of healthy crops while reducing the pressure on nature.

Conservation agriculture helps to improve food security within the region by helping to put more food on the table and create a balanced diet. There are also many economic benefits, as farmers can sell excess harvest in local markets. The income can then be used to improve their quality of life by giving them access to healthcare and schooling.

Situated in the Zambian component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, the conservancy consists of 180 000 ha of communal land belonging to the Sesheke and Sekhute Chiefdoms. Learn more about the governing structures here.

Simalaha is a shining example of how a dedicated government, NGOs and commercial partners can come together with communities to create a better future for people living in rural areas, improving the overall social, economic and environmental circumstances of the region.