Nurturing Growth Through Our Smallholder Farmer Trial

Nurturing Growth Through Our Smallholder Farmer Trial

The agricultural landscape is witnessing a transformation, one small plot at a time. RegenZ’s Smallholder Farmer Trials have taken root in the soils of Sweetwaters, KZN. This marks the beginning of a journey toward sustainable farming practices, community empowerment, and agricultural innovation.

Our first trial has just been planted in beautiful soils on a 400 sq m plot in Sweetwaters, KZN.

The purpose of the trial:

  • Provide a community close to our hearts with nutrition inputs, application practices and planting guidelines.
  • Test our Smallholder Farmer Starter Pack, which includes:

    1. Maize and tuber potato seed
    2. 2:3:4 (30) + Zinc Fertilizer
    3. NanoCal
    4. PopUp
    5. AminoNPK
    6. LAN Fertilizer

We will be running trials on smallholder plots around the country over the next few months, developing our pack with various groups.

How the trial works

  • The control is the smallholder farmers’ standard farming protocol, which includes manure and compost. 
  • In the plant furrow, we applied NanoCal at the equivalent of 10kg/ha and 2:3:4 at 1,1 tons /ha.
  • The maize seed was planted with a 35cm spacing.
  • Potato seed was planted with a 40cm spacing.
  • PopUp was applied via a knapsack sprayer in the furrow on top of the seed before it was closed.
  • AminoNPK and LAN will be applied at ridging, as well as some more applications of AminoNPK throughout the growth cycle.

The Smallholder Farmer Package

RegenZ’s Smallholder Farmer Package encapsulates a comprehensive array of inputs, guidance, and support tailored specifically for smallholder farmers

Here’s what this package entails:

Quality seed

Access to superior seed genetics has long been a hurdle for smallholder farmers. RegenZ, in collaboration with esteemed seed houses and breeders worldwide, offers certified seeds perfectly attuned to local climates. Notably, introducing hybrid true potato seed (HTPS) promises groundbreaking advancements in Southern Africa’s farming landscape.

You may also be interested in: Trialling regenerative seed potato farming. 

Affordable & sustainable inputs

Customised input packages designed for various crop varieties serve as the cornerstone for a bountiful harvest. Leveraging a vast network and resources, RegenZ pioneers the transition to regenerative farming by providing affordable and sustainable inputs. Real IPM’s technical expertise tailored for smallholders facilitates this paradigm shift.

Technical backup

Navigating the diverse farming landscapes becomes manageable through robust digital channels. RegenZ ensures widespread access to application information and comprehensive guidance, employing platforms like WhatsApp, U Can Grow‘s mobile app, and diverse digital resources to bolster the success of provided inputs.

Market access

Fostering market access is pivotal. RegenZ collaborates with partners to facilitate market access and form a symbiotic cycle. By affiliating with growing programs, smallholder farmers gain market entry through U Can Grow and Wild Coast Foods, channelling their produce to satisfy local market demands.

The road ahead

The commencement of trials in Sweetwaters is just the opening chapter in RegenZ’s commitment to transforming smallholder farming. Over the next few months, similar trials across various regions will refine and evolve the Smallholder Farmer Package, enriching it with diverse perspectives and experiences.

Stay tuned as we roll out these trials, cultivating sustainable farming practices and empowering communities, one harvest at a time. 

Here’s an update and progress from the field.

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About the Author: Alex Platt

Alex is Business Development Manager at RegenZ. He's inspired by the potential of regenerative farming and takes a special interest in the technology and products that are moving agriculture in a more sustainable direction.