Alida and Lofta Zulu have been farming together since they were young women.
30 years on from the death of their father and the two sisters are still using the one-acre plot they inherited on the death of their father to earn a living for their families and themselves.
Members of a local Self Help Africa vegetable commodity group, they are using training and support with seed production to increase yields, and are employing new ways to conserve their soil and the local wetlands on which they farm. ‘We need water to produce our vegetables, so it is very important to us that we farm properly,’ Alida Zulu says.
‘We no longer burn the stalks and other crop residues after harvesting, but instead we plough the organic matter back into the soil as a fertilizer.’ The sisters recently planted a stand of agro-forestry trees to help them to shade their plot, and to conserve water.
‘We are growing different vegetables, including beans, tomato and cabbage on our farm. We sold a 100kg bag of beans in the market in Chipata recently and received 1,500 Zambian Kwacha (€200) for it. We also trade with our neighbours, while some family members also come from town and buy vegetables from us.
Find out more about Self Help Africa’s work with women. Click here.