OUR PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH
The organization emphasizes on the following approaches to help communities become the drivers of their own sustainable development:
Multi-Stakeholder collaborative Approach
• An interactive process among all types of stakeholders in decision-making and implementation efforts and/or those who are impacted by the implementation to increase understanding and relations among stakeholders and leads towards solutions and preferred shared futures
• Capacity building approach
• Lead farmer and Lead Facilitator Approach (Including Value Addition)
• Demonstration site and Model Approach
• Sustainable Livelihoods Approach
• Practical, Hands On and participatory approach
CADS Thematic Areas
1.Sustainable agriculture (technology development and dissemination)
2.Agricultural Biodiversity – Holistic farming systems
3.Nutrition and Value Addition
4.Seed production and multiplication
5.Small and large livestock production and research.
6.Access to Inputs
7.Business development and marketing
8.Food, Nutrition and Income security ( Livelihoods)
CORE COMPETENCES ON THEMATIC AREAS
CADS supports community-based organizations that promote sustainable development in rural communities. Innovation and promoting creativity are central to our approaches. Main areas of intervention are as follows:
1. Food Security through sustainable agricultural technology development and dissemination
Achieved through Participatory Research and Extension. Innovator farmers are involved in research, where technologies are tried, tested and disseminated. Dissemination of appropriate technologies such as improved horticultural production, production of small grains and techniques on soil and water conservation, soil fertility, natural pest management and appropriate crop varieties is spearheaded by model farmers and early adopters. Over the years farmers have experimented with over 100 technologies which now been compiled into a catalogue.
2. Business development, Marketing, Nutrition and Value Addition
CADS facilitates the development and dissemination of improved production and marketing systems, value addition technologies and processing for horticultural and dry land produce. Farmers process some of the dryland and horticultural crops they grow. Farmers have developed recipes which have been compiled into a recipe book which has been published.
3. Seed production
CADS facilitates the development of programs on seed production, multiplication, distribution, retention and marketing to ensure access to seed by vulnerable members of the community thereby achieving seed and food security. Farmers have managed to produce and multiply seed for crops such as black-eyed beans; cowpeas, groundnuts, sorghum and open pollinated maize varieties. These have been distributed among farming communities at affordable prices as compared to private market outlets.
4. Inputs Support
CADS works in collaboration with other agencies such as the LEAD Trust and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to distribute seed, fertilizers as well as offer extension support during times of food insecurity. Inputs support is a short term intervention whereby CADS promotes sustainability strategies and knowledge and skill on components such as seed multiplication and retention. During the 2009/10 season, CADS distributed inputs on behalf of FAO to 17000 households.
5. Small livestock production
CADS implements an integrated small livestock project that encompasses broilers, layers and pig production project. Surplus grain from the conservation agriculture component contributes to feeds of the small livestock. The main aim of projects is to improve household cash incomes from commercialized production and marketing of the small livestock. The project will also improve household food and nutrition security through increased access to broiler, layer and pig products.
6. Putting Nitrogen Fixation to work for Smallholder Farmers in Africa (N2 Africa)
The N2frica Project is a research and development program that develops, disseminates and promotes appropriate nitrogen fixation technologies for smallholder farmers. In Zimbabwe, emphasis is on soya beans, sugar beans, cowpeas and groundnuts. The project goal is to maintain and improve soil fertility and landscape management and thereby combating environmental degradation. Legume crops also enhance diversity in diets at household level through provision of cheap sources of protein. N2Africa project introduced the inoculation technology.
7. Business Models
CADS is implementing Business Model projects in Mutoko and Mudzi focusing on dryland cereal and legume production and marketing; poultry and livestock model; horticultural production and marketing model; sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing of indigenous fruits and vegetables model. The overall objective is to enhancing food and income security at household level by creating an environment that is conducive to improving small-scale household productivity and increasing resilience to external shocks. CADS has reached 50 000 beneficiaries under Conservation Agriculture (CA), 3459 under horticulture, 4000 under poultry production, 685 under piggery, 790 under beekeeping 45000 under value addition and 225 demonstration sites have been established.
8. Drought Mitigation Operation Project
CADS is implementing a project on ‘Coping with the effects of the El Nino for the drought-affected groups and households. The overall goal of the project is to improve climate change adaptive capacity/resilience and to reduce food and nutrition insecurity situation of 25 400 households in Mudzi, Mutoko, Mutasa, Makoni, Chiredzi and Zaka.
9. Feed the Future Zimbabwe-Crop Development Program
CADS is implementing Feed the Future Zimbabwe-Crop Development Program in Buhera, Chimanimani, Mutare, Mhondoro Ngezi, Sanyati, Hurungwe, Gweru, Gokwe South, Shurugwi, Zvishavane and Binga. The goal of the progtam is to reduce rural poverty and improve food security of small holder farmers in natural regions 3, 4 and 5 through increased productivity and market linkages. The main project components are high value crops, staple foods, pulses and nutrition and hygiene.
10. Internal savings and lending
CADS facilitated the formation of 182 Internal Savings and Lending Clubs (ISALS) in Mutoko and Mudzi districts. The ISALS are mobilizing resources to purchase agro- inputs and value addition equipment such as peanut butter and oil processing machines. Farmers are trained on constitution development, conflict resolution, loan policy, roles and responsibilities and fundraising.
11. Advocacy and lobbying
CADS facilitates the empowerment of Community Based Organizations to lobby and educate and raise awareness of farmers on local, national and international policies and topical issues and capacity building of farmer organizations. CADS facilitates organizational and institutional development of farmer organizations through change management, to enable them to deliver member driven services.
12. Gender and HIV and AIDS
Gender, HIV and AIDS are developmental issues that remain an integral part of CADS’ activities. CADS integrates HIV and AIDS into sustainable agriculture development and facilitate programs to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS within vulnerable communities. CADS also works towards the improvement of the welfare of Orphans and Vulnerable Children within its operational areas.
13. Theatre for Community Action
CADS uses this approach to mobilize communities through song, dance, dramas and focus group discussions to dialogue on topical issues, and to disseminate information and key messages. During 2008-9, CADS has used the approach in HIV and AIDS awareness programme in collaboration with Population Services International. The approach is currently used to spread key messages on linkages between appropriate crops and varieties, nutrition and how to mitigate impacts of HIV and AIDS.
14. Networking and Stakeholder Collaboration
CADS networks and collaborates with other NGOs, service providers and other agencies, local authorities and traditional leaders in the operational areas.