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Farming pioneers: making every drop count

Lilian, a conservation farmer in ZimbabweFarmers in Lilian's country of Zimbabwe are vulnerable to a changing climate, which is getting ever drier.

This is Lilian. She is one in a million

Widowed in 2000, Lilian found a secure future when – with the help of Christian Aid partners Zimpro - she discovered a new farming technique.

When water is scarce, you have to make every drop count.

This simple principle lies at the heart of this new technique called ‘conservation farming’ – which is designed to grow food in near-drought conditions.

But it involves some major changes to the farming practices that people have been using for generations.

Are you brave enough to change?

Would you be daring enough to risk a dramatically different approach when you have been farming one way all your life? You are gambling with your family’s food, and the stakes are very high.

Lilian’s farming community dared to be different and are reaping the benefits. She says that now 'we can feed our families all year round'. In her first year she harvested three times more maize using conservation farming.

Photo gallery: conservation farming

The Flickr gallery below shows how these techniques work, and why we are so committed to promoting them.

To view the gallery full-screen, simply press play and then select the enlarge button on the bottom right. To show the captions, select 'Show info' on the top right.

Scaling up

After trials showed dramatic success in Zimbabwe with communities like Lilian’s, Zimpro are calling on the government to extend this technique to half a million farmers by 2015.

And Christian Aid has helped introduce the practice in several other countries making it a key feature of our projects across Africa, from Ghana to Malawi.

This new technique is now being hailed as the key to Zimbabwe’s drive towards self-sufficiency and is helping to reduce the effects of climate change.


A million ways to tackle climate change

There are a million other things we can do now to help tackle climate change and its effects, whether it’s walking to church on a Sunday morning, supporting our sisters and brothers across the world to deal with the consequences, or urging our political leaders to act now  – the steps you take do count.

Act now >Please call on our politicians to take action on climate change.



Find out more

Our work on climate change

Our partners in Africa




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