​​How the Moringa Development Corporation helps smallholders in Zambia adopt new farming practices with fieldmargin

​​How the Moringa Development Corporation helps smallholders in Zambia adopt new farming practices with fieldmargin

Steven Putter runs the Moringa Development Corporation, a project helping smallholder farmers in Zambia, where malnutrition rates are some of the worst in Africa, to grow the highly nutritious Moringa tree. He provides training to small-holder farmers for integrated organic bio-intensive farming techniques. Steven’s vision is that this will allow farmers to produce more nutrient-dense food and be more resilient to climate change. Farmers that have worked on the project so far have been able to increase profits, improve bio-diversity and provide nutrient rich food for their families. 

It is challenging times, climate adaption is what we have to deal with now in Zambia. Rainy periods will be shorter and more erratic causing erosion and land salting.  There is massive potential for Zambian agriculture, we just need to change the way we are doing things. We can overcome climate change through crop choice, plant breeding and smart rotations. We must give farmers insight about how to farm alongside the land so they can see benefits for the long term not just for the current season.”

Steven Putter

Steven works with 500 farmers all over Zambia and Malawi. The logistics of communicating with and visiting so many farms can be overwhelming, particularly given the massive distances between farms. However since using fieldmargin he has been able to communicate with his farm owners from his office using the app so they can share their progress, thoughts and ideas. The team can share pictures of their farms so that development and crop health can be monitored. This helps Steven to keep farmers updated with instructions and share information on watering conditions, pests and disease issues.

“Distribution of information is the most important thing that we have to do. I regularly drive 1000 km to visit farms. fieldmargin has the potential to save the project thousands of dollars travelling between farms.”

Steven Putter

When Steven discovered fieldmargin he was impressed at how easy the mapping features are to use. Steven uses fieldmargin to design layouts for farms all over Zambia from his classroom based in Lusaka. Accurately measuring new areas available for forest growth and calculating the numbers of trees required for planting.

“I found this app refreshingly easy to use. I can easily measure areas and draw my farm designs. I can share my digital map of my farm designs with everyone on the project and they can be viewed on the phone or the web version.

Steven Putter

Soil sampling and analysis is tremendously important to the project. Soil analysis warns Steven about potential nutrient deficiencies of that farm so he knows which fertiliser he should be applying. Steven saves the soil sample locations, date and time using notes in fieldmargin. This will allow him to reduce administration work and improve transparency.

So far this is a very useful app and it has massive potential to help my work. I believe fieldmargin will have a big impact for small scale rural farmers by providing an easy to use mobile tool for planning, measuring, and communication.

Steven Putter

We are really looking forward to hearing how the project progresses. Read more about Stevens work here.

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