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Emergency and Resilience Programme: Lesotho Food Security in a Changing Climate

Place: lesotho, Africa
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 5.500.000,00 | Period: From June 2012 To

Summary

Lesotho is a land-locked country surrounded by South Africa. Featured by a unique ecosystem of high mountains, Lesotho shares challenges with other African countries: endemic poverty, inequality, HIV-AIDS, food insecurity, stunting, and increasing environmental degradation exacerbated by erratic and variable climate. 
This complex vulnerability leads its population into recurrent food security crisis.
But, can these structural conditions be addressed with fragmented, limited humanitarian funds? How can we reconcile today’s urgency with the reduction of tomorrow’s vulnerability building Basotho’s resilience?
Lesotho Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP) acknowledges the tension between the objectives of emergency support, which is reactive, and building resilience, which is proactive and forward-looking, moving beyond an emergency relief focus towards delivering long term benefits.
This is the story about how we initiated a journey where everyone’s steps count, big or small.

Partnership

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) - Lesotho - Lesotho

Lead applicant

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. Our three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) - Lesotho - Lesotho

Initiative partner

Promotion of agricultural and food production Employment promotion to ensure sufficient and stable access to food Promotion of infrastructure and services to support livelihoods Promotion of public transfers and social safety nets Promotion of improved utilisation of food at household level Development of improved food security and vulnerability information systems

Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation - Lesotho - Lesotho

Initiative partner

The Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation iscommitted to protecting and rehabilitating the physical environment through forestry, management of rangeland resources and control of soil erosion and harvesting of water in order to enhance means of livelihoods of local communities

Home Gardening and Nutrition Working Group - Lesotho

Initiative partner

Coordinate the design of harmonized visual training materials on Home Gardening and Nutrition

HPG Advertising - South Africa

Initiative partner

HPG Advertising is a creative agency located in Irene, Pretoria. Its work is consistently recognised by major national and international awards schemes for both creativity and effectiveness.

Lesotho National Conservation Agriculture Task Force - Lesotho

Initiative partner

Promote the adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Lesotho

Lesotho Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP): increasing Basotho’s food security and natural resource base through integrated sustainable agriculture practices.

ERP manages the tension between relief and long term benefits through an innovative programme design. ERP sequences short term funding along a 3 years-cycle.
ERP is structured around 3 pillars, ensuring that every dollar, every effort, brings us closer to our long term vision:
1.Sustainable production: Promotion of sustainable and integrated agriculture practices-Conservation Agriculture (CA), Home Gardening (HG), Nutrition (N), Natural Resources management (NRM)
2.Capacity development: Upscale sustainable practices nationally strengthening local structures and producing harmonized, visual and appealing training materials
3.Policy & analysis: M&E, coordination, advocacy
An African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” We believe so. In complex contexts impact cannot be achieved in isolation. ERP is inclusive, implemented jointly by FAO and Gov. of Lesotho in coordination with state structures, UN, NGOs and socially-committed private sector

Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 “The [ERP] mission […] signals a tension between the objectives of emergency support, which is reactive, and building resilience, which is mostly proactive and forward-looking. The Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP) has, however, been able to manage this tension exceptionally well." * *FABRICIUS, C., GAMBIZA, J., SHACKLETON, C. (2014) FAO Lesotho Emergency & Resilience Programme Mid Term Evaluation 2014
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP 3-year cycle rolling programme approach (2 slides) ERP sequences short term funding along a 3 year-cycle programme. In 2012 11,000 HH were enrolled and 7,500 additional HH were enrolled in 2013 bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 18,500 HH. All ERP beneficiaries receive agriculture inputs packages encouraging the practice of sustainable technologies promoted by ERP (Year 1: maize, beans and vegetable seeds plus fertilizers; Year 2: cover crop seeds). Training and technical support are provided through a 3-year period.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP Integrated Programme Components (4 slides) ERP is structured around 3 pillars of action integrating a diversity of sustainable farming practices, input support, capacity development at different levels as well as a comprehensive M&E system feeding a learning cycle of constant analysis. ERP pillars are: 1.Sustainable production 2.Capacity development 3.Policy & analysis The slides provide details on the pillars and their respective components.

Lesotho’s food security has gradually declined in the last decades.
Changing weather patterns with delayed onset of rains and long dry spells have a major adverse impact on food security.
Climate change is compounded by environmental and social challenges: severe land degradation caused by overgrazing, deforestation and other poor land use practices, limited access to quality inputs and limited use of productivity enhancing technologies. Besides, HIV/AIDS pandemic, which affects 23% of Lesotho’s population, has generated 220,000 orphans. Stunting affects 40% of all children under 5. Poverty is widespread with 56% of households living below the national poverty line, of which about 40% are extremely poor. The vast majority of these poor households resides in rural areas and depends to a large extent on agriculture for their livelihoods.
The highest number of households in need of humanitarian aid was recorded in 2012 with one out of three Basotho affected. We had to act, we started ERP.

Photo: Lesotho is a predominantly rural and traditional society Poverty in Lesotho is most prevalent in rural areas and women are generally poorer than men. Inequality is high in both urban and rural areas (Gini coefficient of 0,52) and has been a structural feature of Lesotho’s economy for decades. Of the 70 per cent of the population that live in rural areas, 50 per cent or more are within the lowest wealth quintile. Traditional local structures such as chieftainships are strong in Lesotho and coexist with an emerging decentralized democratic structure.
Photo: Lesotho natural resources are degraded In rural Lesotho, agriculture is the primary source of income or contributes supplementary income for more than 50% of the population. The sector employs almost 60% of the labour force (on subsistence farms) and provides livelihood sustenance for 90% of the rural population. Livelihoods of farmers are threatened by the degradation of the natural resource base. Inadequate land use practices such as overgrazing and conventional agriculture in sloppy areas accelerate this process.
Documentary: Basotho Voices - Human Security "Basotho Voices: Human Security", is a short documentary where a diverse range of citizens from Lesotho express their views on issues related to Human Security (HS). When Basotho are asked about their fears and dreams, food security, rain and peace come strong to the front line (e.g. see 0’01”-0’31”; 0’47”-0’54”; 1’38”- 1’49”; 2’14”-3’38”). This film has been produced by FAO and SM&D in 2013. This production provides an insightful, human approximation to Basotho life with no intermediaries.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP context vulnerability factors Lesotho presents a complex set of socio economic vulnerability factors exacerbated by erratic and changing climatic conditions. Delays of rains during the planting season and increased temperatures are evident when comparing meteorological data of 1900-1990 against data of 1990-2010. This combination of factors originates a wide stunting rate of 40% of U5 and brings many Basotho into food security crisis. This slide presents these facts in a visual manner.

ERP has exceeded its initial targets. Since 2012, ERP has benefited 18,500 households (HH), or 92,500 individuals, across Lesotho: 11,000 HH were enrolled in 2012 and 7,500 in 2013.
Among HH enrolled in 2012, maize production increased by 60%, beans by 37% and vegetable consumption by 122%
Over 530 extension staff members -from the entire MAFS network of 68 Agricultural Resource Centres (ARC)-, 600 lead farmers and 280 teachers have been trained on sustainable farming practices. 30 CA planters have been distributed for demonstration.
Training materials on CA & HG/N have been harmonized and distributed among all beneficiaries and food security actors ensuring communities receive consistent messages.
In 2015, we plan to design NRM training tools, train additional actors on sustainable farming, continue promoting mechanical CA and land cover as well as assessing the national Land Cover Change. The HG/N package (seeds and training) will be piloted among GoL Social Protection beneficiaries.

Photo: Capacity development is complemented with input distribution All ERP beneficiaries receive 2 different kits of inputs allowing them to put in practice the new sustainable farming technologies promoted. In Year 1 after enrolment, HH receive 5kg of OPV maize seed and 5kg OPV bean seed so inter cropping can be practiced. Fertilizers (50kg basal & 50kg top dressing) are also provided. Finally seeds of 6 vegetable varieties (6x100gr) are included in support of home gardening and nutrition. In Year 2, cover crop seeds (wheat and grazing vetch) are distributed
Photo: ERP promotes improved Home Gardening production techniques Besides training and inputs promoting the adoption of CA in production of staple food (maize and beans), ERP supports all beneficiaries in Home Gardening (HG) production and Nutrition (N). A kit of six varieties of vegetable seeds (600g) is distributed in Year 1. Technical support is provided along the ERP on HG techniques such as keyhole or trench gardens. Nutrition and food preservation are also part of the training, enhancing not only access and availability of food but also use of food.
Photo: ERP supported improved pest control and pest forecasting capacity Few months after ERP started, an armyworm outbreak affected 25% of Lesotho planted area (Jan/Feb 2013). FAO and MAFS jointly designed and implemented a 1 year intervention funded by ECHO improving pest control capacities and establishing an armyworm community based forecasting system. According to ERP FAO M&E monitoring, pests is the second most important problem reported by ERP beneficiaries after drought. Additional effort against other pests prevalent in Lesotho needs to be done.
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 "We found that all ERP objectives had been met, and some have been exceeded, e.g. the appointment and training of 600 Lead Farmers, and capacitating and training 530 MAFS officials and extension officers as well as chiefs and councilors. The delivery of training materials that would promote Conservation Agriculture across all role playing organizations also exceeded the stated goal. In short, the ERP could have delivered substantially less without having failed in achieving its objectives". *
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report, 2014 ERP External Mid Term Evaluation was conducted in Jan 2014 by professors Christo Fabricius (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and James Gambiza and Charlie Shackleton (University of Rhodes). The evaluation covered the period of 2012-2013 and assessed ERP achievements under the lens of the “Social-ecological resilience framework”. Recommendations formulated by the evaluators have been factored in the programming of 2014-2015 period. A final evaluation is planned in Nov 2015.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: ERP M&E Training Impact Assessment Report 2012-2013 Agriculture extension officers are essential change makers. ERP has prioritized their capacity development. Pre and post training questionnaires assessing impact of training were shared with over 300 participants in 2013 training sessions. Trainings were successful in improving self-assessed knowledge and capacity to train others. Additional trainings have been undertaken on mechanical CA and cover crops in 2014. A similar assessment is being completed among over 250 teachers trained in 2014.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: FAO M&E - Baseline Report 2012-2013 FAO Lesotho developed a comprehensive M&E cycle from ERP inception. Baseline, Post Planting and Post-Harvest reports are regularly produced by FAO M&E team. Findings are essential in regular adaptive programming ensuring an active learning cycle. This Baseline Report 2012-2013 assesses the situation among a sample of 270 families selected from the 11,000 households enrolled by ERP during the 2012-2013 agricultural season.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: FAO M&E - Post-Harvest Report 2012-2013 FAO Lesotho developed a comprehensive M&E cycle from ERP inception. Baseline, Post Planting and Post-Harvest reports are regularly produced by FAO M&E team. Findings are essential in regular adaptive programming ensuring an active learning cycle. This Post-Harvest Report 2012-2013 assesses the situation among a sample of 270 families selected from the 11,000 households enrolled under ERP in 2012-2013 agricultural season.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: FAO M&E - Post-Planting Report 2012-2013 FAO Lesotho developed a comprehensive M&E cycle from ERP inception. Baseline, Post Planting and Post-Harvest reports are regularly produced by FAO M&E team. Findings are essential in regular adaptive programming ensuring an active learning cycle. This Post Planting Report 2012-2013 assesses the situation among a sample of 110 families selected from the 270 households participating in the Baseline and Post-Harvest reports covering the 11,000 households enrolled by ERP in 2012-2013 agricultural season

Beneficiaries were selected based on vulnerability criteria among the head of HH (i.e. women, elder, orphan, chronically ill–often HIV AIDS affected) and vulnerability criteria among members of HH (i.e. same categories as above plus children U5 and pregnant or lactating mothers).
Vulnerable active farmers are selected in groups of 15 HH per village. Each group chooses a lead farmer from the community in coordination with extension staff. Lead farmers act as mentors and play a significant modelling role among farmers.
ERP distributes agricultural inputs in Years 1 & 2 allowing the progressive adoption of sustainable farming practices while technical support is provided over three years.
Priority has been given to develop the capacity of extension staff, farmers and teachers. ERP is expanding the target groups since NRM affects the society as a whole. Chiefs, local leaders and parliamentarians are critical to promote behavior change. Training will be complemented with radio and TV spots.

Photo: ERP Conservation Agriculture Farmers Production Group ERP beneficiaries are selected in groups of 15 households approximately. Each group, in coordination with extension services, selects a lead farmer in the community who will assist the group in the adoption of new sustainable farming technologies. Lead farmers are part of Lesotho Unified Extension Scheme and ensure an anchor of technical knowledge in the community. ERP promotes groups rather than individual work fostering social capital and spillover effects.
Photo: Lead farmers are essential in the dissemination of new practices Mr. Motseki started cultivating maize under CA in 2012 with ERP support. He is now leading a growing group of farmers in his community and his village has started hosting this year exchange visits of farmers from other villages in Leribe district supported by ERP.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP beneficiary households vulnerability profile (3 slides) According to FAO M&E Baseline Report 2012-2013, ERP beneficiaries have been selected as per the intended criteria. 94% of HH meet at least one vulnerability criterion. Head of HH meeting vulnerability criteria are predominantly elder or single female headed HH. Vulnerabilities of HH members are more diverse and largely spread: 51% have at least one member U5; 42 % hosted at least one orphan and 38% had at least one member chronically ill, which includes largely HIV AIDS cases.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: ERP CA Farmers Productive Group works together ERP beneficiaries work in CA productive groups, helping each other in the first steps exploring a new farming technology for all of them. CA is bringing benefits they would like to share with other farmers.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: ERP Lead Farmer, Paul Motseki, contributes to change Paul Motseki, 66, leads an ERP CA farmers productive group in Mahobong, Leribe district (Lesotho). His community chose him as a lead farmer because he is a "hard worker". Mr. Motseki is improving his yields with CA and will continue to help other farmers wishing to learn a more sustainable farming technology.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: ERP beneficiary learning CA from extension staff Mr. Koao, from Mofotholeng village (Berea) is discovering how to practice CA through ERP. “I have learned a lot from the training and the extension officers. They have given me great tips, new ideas and skills and I now know a lot about CA farming. I wouldn’t like to go back to conventional farming methods,” said Koao. Many farmers heard about CA before but did not know how to put it into practice. ERP is helping them to explore new farming technologies.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: ERP helping elderly women to improve food security Mrs. Raseboko, 77, is one of the farmers participating in the ERP CA productive group led by Mr. Motseki. Impressed by Mr. Motseki's success, Mrs. Raseboko cultivated her small piece of land under CA increasing the yield. She gets all the help she needs from the group of farmers as she is old and could not cultivate her land on her own.

ERP is a partnership among FAO, MAFS and MFLR, implemented in consultation and coordination with CATF and HGNWG. These coordination groups are integrated by Government (GoL), Academia, NGOs and UN and receive FAO secretariat assistance.
All field activities are implemented through MAFS/MFLR extension services present in all districts. FAO staff provides financial management, technical guidance and monitoring. Working with GoL field structures responds to the strategic aim to make a reality the implementation of sustainable agriculture policies at field level. Increasing GoL capacity contributes towards an enabling environment for the adequate NRM and sustainable food security. It also allows HR efficiency and decreases future donor dependence. Constant coordination is maintained with MAFS/MFLR management and technical departments.
ERP has been funded so far by 7 different donors: ECHO, DFID, USAID, COMESA, SDC, Belgium and CERF. FAO Lesotho is a small team integrated by 16 people.

Photo: Donors regularly visit ERP field activities ERP has received so far funding from 7 different donors: ECHO, DFID, CERF, USAID, Belgium, COMESA and SDC. Their visits are frequent and always a good opportunity to share progress and challenges, and look forward!
Photo: Extension staff are ERP's hands and heart at field level Agriculture extension officers are the true change makers. They often work under difficult conditions and the impact of their work requires time, patience, dedication and commitment. ERP considers the extension services as the cornerstone of any sustainable change in farming practices in Lesotho. For this reason ERP capacity development activities initially focused on them.
Photo: FAO Lesotho team getting ready for Expo Milano 2015 application FAO Lesotho team has worked hard preparing our application for the BSDP on Food Security organized by Expo Milano 2015. The process has helped us to reflect on all our achievements so far and dream for the future. Sharing one's experience is energizing! We look forward to everybody's feedback!
Photo: FAO M&E team interviews ERP beneficiaries all year round The FAO Monitoring and Evaluation team, made of one Monitoring and Evaluation officer assisted by two enumerators, is on the field for most of the year. The team visits ERP beneficiaries and assesses the farmers' situation before, during, and after the planting season. The data collected during these visits is compiled in three reports: Baseline, Post-planting and Post-harvest.
Photo: FAO and MAFS management visit the field jointly FAO and MAFS HQ Field Services managers undertake joint visits to ERP areas to assess the progress of the programme, speak to beneficiaries and coordinate the implementation of activities with extension services.
Photo: Lesotho Minister of Agriculture supports CA upscale Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Litsoane Litsoane is wearing a CA T-shirt during the launch of the Strategy for CA upscale in Lesotho formulated by Lesotho National CA Task Force (CATF) with secretariat support of FAO and USAID funds (April 2013)
Photo: MAFS District Management & FAO staff assess ERP progress annually-1 FAO and MAFS Management staff from all ten districts come together annually to assess the ERP progress. The promotion of sustainable farming technologies is confronted with a number of field level challenges that need to be addressed. ERP M&E information is shared and analysed so ERP planning and priorities can be agreed upon, refining further ERP design. The support from MAFS Field Services at HQ has been essential to maintain a good connection along the implementation chain.
Photo: MAFS District Management & FAO staff assess ERP progress annually-2 FAO and MAFS Management staff from all ten districts come together annually to assess the ERP progress. The promotion of sustainable farming technologies is confronted with a number of field level challenges that need to be addressed. ERP M&E information is shared and analysed so ERP planning and priorities can be agreed upon, refining further ERP design. The support from MAFS Field Services at HQ has been essential to maintain a good connection along the implementation chain.
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 "Staff costs are a mere 10% of expenditure, and overheads are below 25% which is quite remarkable – in most community development programmes overheads can account for more than 50%. ERP has been exceptionally good at fostering connections between the different role players in CA…. It has also performed remarkably well in working with Government officials, linking agriculture extension officers to Lead Farmers and beneficiaries, and in developing capacity at all levels" *
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP Stakeholders Chart This graph presents the relationship between all stakeholders in the ERP implementation. ERP has an inclusive design. Its theory of change implies that working together with harmonized tools at different levels of responsibility is the only possible way to achieve sustainable results in an environment suffering from a complex set of vulnerabilities and challenges. "'Moho, re ka hlola tlala!" is our Sesotho motto: "Together, we can defeat hunger"

Behavior changes cannot be achieved in a short period of time. Improving communities’ relationship with their environment, restrictive cultural practices and negative economic dynamics is a path with no shortcuts.
Change requires not only a sustained effort, but a concerted one. This kind of change is not within the reach of one individual or one organization. Complexity calls for collaboration, synergy, principled action and attention to detail.
This is the spirit governing ERP design and implementation. Both ERP “rolling programme approach” -opposed to a “project time-bound frame”-  and ERP partnership have offered us the possibility to think big, while remaining small, efficient and down to earth.
Achieving change requires monitoring and adaptive measures. Long-term programmes must evolve based on evidence and avoid complaisance. ERP established a comprehensive M&E cycle complemented with external evaluations that feed the planning and implementation.

Photo: CA Mechanization is essential for long term and widespread adoption CA can be practiced manually or mechanically. Manual CA is suitable for farmers with no animals or resources to hire mechanical work, offering them an option to cultivate their land. However manual CA is laborious in big areas and for farmers having more assets. Mechanical CA is needed for long term, wide CA adoption. CA mechanical planters (tractor and ox-drawn) are being distributed by ERP for demonstration in ARCs. Training and 30 planters have been delivered so far (plus 40 planned by 2015).
Photo: CA, a technology linking generations Mrs. Maphoka, 71, is an ERP beneficiary determined to practice CA, but her step son, Poello, 17, does not agree. She decided to split her land: half for her under CA, the rest for him under conventional. This experience was an eye-opener for Poello: “My crops look poor, whereas my mother’s crops look good”. Who said youth was always more inclined to accept innovations? (see below Human Interest Story: CA, a technology linking generations)
Photo: Livestock feeding management in Lesotho needs to be improved Livestock plays a key role in Lesotho. It is a source of wealth and nutrition, but it also contributes to degrading natural resources when feeding is not managed. Uncontrolled grazing in range lands and fields prevents a timely recovery of the soil cover leading into soil erosion and limited future bio mass. CA requires soil cover to be effective. Interrelations between agriculture and livestock need to be addressed jointly by all stakeholders, particularly chiefs and representatives.
Photo: Soil cover is hampered by livestock and farming practices Soil cover is one of the 3 CA principles and, according to scientific research, essential for its success. The soil can be covered with crop residues or cover crops. Crop residues are widely used in Lesotho for livestock feeding, thus competing for the precious organic matter that improves and protects the soil. Besides, there is still a low adoption of cover crops at national level. ERP strives to address the interrelations between agriculture and livestock.
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 "The Programme benefits from very supportive leadership, and our impressions were that there is a culture of learning, reflection, listening and adaptation at all levels. This accommodating style, coupled with strong attention to detail, has created the foundations for good governance in the Programme." *
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: CA, a technology linking generations Mrs. Maphoka, 71, is an ERP beneficiary determined to practice CA, but her step son, Poello, 17, does not agree. She decided to split her land: half for her under CA, the rest for him under conventional. This experience was an eye opener for Poello: “My crops look poor, whereas my mother’s crops look good”. He adds “Now that I know more about CA, I am willing to improve my knowledge and I want to help my mother to practice CA on 100% of the land.”

ERP promotes a number of farming practices optimizing, preserving and improving the natural resources base. Environmentally, Conservation Agriculture (CA) contributes to reduce water and wind erosion on the soil, improves soil quality and water infiltration. CA sequesters carbon from the atmosphere into long–lived soil organic matter pools, while promoting a healthier environment and enhancing economically sustainable production conditions for farmers.
Home Gardening techniques such as Keyhole or Trench Gardens improve soil fertility and moisture retention offering families adapting technologies in times water scarcity.
ERP integrated design allows beneficiaries to establish linkages and interrelations among different natural resources and our behavior. ERP wishes to improve the monitoring of slow changes. For this reason a Land Cover Change assessment will be conducted in 2015, establishing the level of soil degradation in the last years and inform decision making.

Photo: Current Landscape Status in Lesotho This image taken from the CA training materials visual aids (Icon 1) explains the impact of human activity and meteorological phenomena in soil erosion and natural resources degradation. Conventional farming contributes to exacerbate soil erosion by effect of water and wind. Sustainable farming practices such as CA are needed to correct the ongoing depletion of natural resources.
Photo: Home Gardening climate adaptation techniques improve nutrition ERP beneficiaries receive a kit of six varieties of vegetable seeds (100g of each: carrot, English rape, Florida broad leaf, onion, beetroot and spinach). They are also trained on Home Gardening techniques such as keyhole gardens or trench gardens, optimizing the use of water, moisture and making soil richer. Home gardens improved production is complemented with awareness on nutrition and food preservation enhancing not only access and availability of food but also the use of food.
Photo: Soil cover is essential to revert erosion (cover crops) Soil cover is the second CA principle and key for soil protection, moisture retention and improved organic matter content. Apart from crop residues, cover crops can be used to cover the soil. Cover crops such as grazing vetch (GV), distributed by ERP, fix nitrogen and can be used as fodder. GV is self-seeding, thus a sustainable option for farmers with limited resources for purchase of seeds. Using cover crops farmers reduce the competition for crop residues for livestock and soil cover.
Photo: Soil cover is essential to revert erosion (crop residue) This image, taken from CA training materials visual aid (Icon 4) illustrates the use of mulch or crop residues for covering the soil. Soil cover is the second CA principle and key for soil protection, moisture retention and improved organic matter content. Crop residues are often given to animals for feeding. It is important to reach a good balance between livestock feeding needs and the health of fields and soil.
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 "CA is ideal to manage and restore ecological connectedness by improving the ecological functioning of the soil, connecting crop production to soil quality and soil moisture, and making the links between social and ecological components of the system."*
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: CA Poster 1 - Adapting our farming systems CA visual training materials designed by the ERP in consultation with CATF is integrated by 3 posters, 14 visual aids for trainers and a leaflet summarizing the posters and visual aids contents (both in English and Sesotho). This 1st poster emphasizes the need to adapt our farming system to a changing climate. Our farming practices can mitigate, and often prevent negative impacts of climate change. CA and home gardening techniques (e.g. keyhole or trench garden) are proposed as concrete measures
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: CA Poster 2 - The 3 principles of CA CA visual training materials designed by the ERP in consultation with CATF is integrated by 3 posters, 14 visual aids for trainers and a leaflet summarizing the posters and visual aids contents (both in English and Sesotho). This 2nd poster explains the 3 principles featuring CA and their respective environmental contributions, creating awareness among farmers on why these principles are important for their environment and the sustainability of their farming practice.

From inception, ERP is designed to contribute to the sustained upscale of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) nationwide.
ERP avoids the “pilot syndrome” -which entails a concentration of resources and capacities difficult to replicate beyond the project. ERP progressively mainstreams sustainable farming techniques in GoL routine action at the field empowering extension staff, farmers and local leaders, bridging a common divide between policies on paper and reality.
ERP covers the entire country embarking with all extension staff, beneficiaries and communities in a movement for change. The newly acquired skills, training materials and farmers modelling are complemented with attractive communication tools and the sensitization of a wide diversity of actors. Having set these conditions, ERP expects spillover effects. However, the upscale of CSA in countries like Lesotho remains challenging due to socio economic and cultural conditions. Perseverance, analysis and adaptability are essential.

Infographics: ERP CA materials also used in global communication tools ERP, in collaboration with CATF, has put emphasis on producing high quality training material. Lesotho deserves our best. HPG Advertising won the award to assist in the design. Given the consultative and participatory process in the design, more than 14 versions needed to be produced until we obtained the best possible product. These materials are now being used in other awareness materials for global audiences! http://www.fao.org/emergencies/fao-in-action/stories/stories-detail/en/c/216752/
Photo: CA visual training materials are now available across the country CA visual training materials designed by the ERP in consultation with CATF is integrated by 3 posters, 14 visual aids for trainers and a leaflet summarizing the posters and visual aids contents (both in English and Sesotho). Over 500 training kits and 50,000 brochures (80% in Sesotho) have been distributed through Agriculture Resource Centres, secondary and primary schools and members of CATF. A harmonized message with common tools is now available across the country.
Photo: ERP farmers' exchange visits, bringing communities together From 2014 ERP supports visits among ERP beneficiary farmers, facilitated by extension staff. Sharing of experiences between farmers is often the most effective manner to transmit knowledge. A host farmer welcome the group at their field and encourage everyone to express their point of view, challenges and successes in the practice of CA. Soil cover needs to be further promoted. Farmers often require mechanical CA implements. ERP intends to distribute one in each ARC (68) by the end of 2015
Photo: ERP support packages replicated in Social Protection (1) GoL outstands in its commitment to develop and expand a Social Protection system. Several cash transfer programmes such as Child Cash Grant Programme (CGP) are in place and grow every year. FAO is piloting interventions to complement the cash grant transfers with in kind and training productive packages improving home gardening and nutrition. ERP home gardening package is being used in these pilot initiatives adapting productive support to the production profile of all families.
Photo: ERP support packages replicated in Social Protection (2) GoL outstands in its commitment to develop and expand a Social Protection system. Several cash transfer programmes such as Child Cash Grant Programme (CGP) are in place and grow every year. FAO is piloting interventions to complement the cash grant transfers with in kind and training productive packages improving home gardening and nutrition. ERP home gardening package is being used in these pilot initiatives adapting productive support to the production profile of all families.
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 "It [ERP] has established strong and functional links with MAFS, and is on track to have an important impact on how challenges of small-scale agriculture are being addressed in Lesotho." * *FABRICIUS, C., GAMBIZA, J., SHACKLETON, C. (2014) FAO Lesotho Emergency & Resilience Programme Mid Term Evaluation 2014
Quote: ERP External Mid Term Evaluation Report 2014 “The ERP has the potential to become an example in FAO of linking the goals of short term emergency relief and long term adaptive and transformative capacity development. For that reason, it is recommended that FAO persists with this ‘experiment’ for as long as practically feasible.”* “The sustainability of the Programme will to a large extent hinge on its ability to draw in a critical mass of farmers who are able and willing to practice CA, and who are producing food from home gardens.”*
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Graph: ERP Outreach and Spillover Model ERP theory of change is based on the combination of capacity building at several levels (national, district, community) among a diversity of stakeholders (extension staff, lead farmers, communities, teachers, political representatives and chiefs) with attractive and effective communication and training tools that can be accessed by the public at large. The modelling of farmers mastering the new technologies and the access to technical information allows for replication and spill over effects.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: ERP generates spill over effects within the community Ms. Pitso heard of CA from a relative enrolled in ERP; Mr. Tsemane and Malaoa saw ERP neighbours practicing it. They all saw the better yields of CA crops. This encouraged them to seek for more information. “We have just started the method but we can already share our experience with other farmers and show them our crops and fields. The results are good and convincing!” they say altogether. Their motivation is encouraging as they will also become CA advocates among their relatives and neighbors!
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Human Interest Story: Social Protection pilot project beneficiaries FAO is piloting interventions to complement cash grant transfers with productive packages improving home gardening and nutrition. This article interviews three beneficiaries of FAO social protection pilot project. Mrs. Masekhametsi says: “I have planted the seeds I received last year using the techniques I learnt during the training. I built a keyhole and I have harvested a lot of vegetables.” She explains that she could sell part of the veggies and buy meat and eggs with the income.

ERP long term vision and emphasis on behavior change is underpinned by a communication strategy encompassing integrated levels of information for a wide diversity of stakeholders.
ERP progressively designs and produces interrelated communication products, made available to all. ERP aims to the development of an integrated set of visual training materials (CA, HG/N and NRM). CA was completed in 2012-13 and HG/N in 2013-14. NRM is planned for 2015.
Leaflets summarizing these materials have been printed in Sesotho and English for public distribution. Based on the CA materials, TV and radio spots are being finalized in 2014.
Additionally, ERP produces articles, human interest stories and visibility items. T-shirts with the CA crest (20,000 units made in Lesotho) have been produced for distribution among project beneficiaries, extension staff and teachers encouraging a sense of belonging and pride in this movement for change: ‘Moho, re ka hlola tlala! (Together we can defeat hunger!)

Photo: CA leaflets have been distributed among all ERP beneficiaries ERP developed leaflets summarizing all the training information in hand outs for farmers and students to take home with them. Leaflets serve as reference but also contribute to increase the spill over effect. All ERP received leaflets in Sesotho during input distributions, additional 30,000 leaflets are being distributed among students, NGOs and general public.
Photo: Communication is needed to achieve ERP transformative goal Communication is often weak in social initiatives, yet the absence of information is often a barrier for development and change. ERP remains committed to constantly improve this aspect and disseminate its activities and findings. We need to communication to achieve our ultimate goal: Increasing Basotho’s food security and natural resource base through integrated sustainable agriculture practices. ERP communication products are also available in FAO corporate websites and social media pages
Photo: ERP communication material, in support of our message, not ourselves ERP communication products and items intend to bring forward our message, rather than the partners’ visibility. ERP training materials and sustainable farming messages are shared by many stakeholders and we wish many more to join us: It is the message that needs to be disseminated. In our communication products we emphasize the change we want to achieve in collaboration with others. ‘Moho, re ka hlola tlala!
Photo: Group Picture of ERP beneficiaries during distributions ERP beneficiaries receive technical support and training from extension officers and agricultural inputs to practice the new sustainable farming technologies promoted by ERP. As main drivers of this movement for change, all beneficiaries and extension officers have received a CA T-shirt during distributions, motivating them and developing a sense of belonging and pride.
Photo: Group picture of agriculture extension officers during training Extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) have received several rounds of training on sustainable farming practices including CA, Home Gardening, Nutrition and pest control. As key players of this movement for change, all extension officers and all ERP farmers have received a CA T-shirt motivating them and developing a sense of belonging and pride.
Photo: Lesotho CA crest, communication image for a movement of change The upscale of CA adoption in Lesotho requires of concerted and consistent efforts and activities at different levels. ERP, in partnership with CATF, designed an iconic image that would ensure connectedness among all the different activities and tools developed. The CA crest is used in all ERP CA related activities and communication material. ERP wishes to generate sense of belonging and pride among those promoting and practicing CA. Pioneering is not always easy, but we are not alone!
Video: Lesotho Conservation Agriculture adverts for TV/Radio - Draft! ERP is integrated by many stakeholders but limited by human and financial resources. We need to optimize our capacity. After completing the CA training material we decided to use it for radio and TV ads, reaching the general public through free air time available to Ministries. The video attached is a draft. We are not satisfied yet but it illustrates the animated graphics we work on. By end 2014 a revised version will be completed in English and Sesotho. NB: Version for internal use only.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Infographic: Lesotho Conservation Agriculture crest The upscale of CA adoption in Lesotho requires of concerted and consistent efforts and activities at different levels. ERP, in partnership with CATF, designed an iconic image that would ensure connectedness among all the different activities and tools developed. The CA crest enables us to make the message locally adapted. HPG Advertising has supported this process from the onset showing, not only graphic talent, but also adaptability and flexibility to work with a wide group of stakeholders.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: Communication Report - Jan/Jun 2014 ERP theory of change is based on capacity development and communication. For this reason ERP documents all communication products developed to facilitate collaboration with partners. The attached report covers the period January to June 2014.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: Communication Report - Jul/Sep 2013 ERP theory of change is based on capacity development and communication. For this reason ERP documents all communication products developed to facilitate collaboration with partners. The attached report covers the period July to September 2013
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: ERP Communication Report - Apr/Jun 2013 ERP theory of change is based on capacity development and communication. For this reason ERP documents all communication products developed to facilitate collaboration with partners. The attached report covers the period April to June 2013
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: ERP Communication Report - Jun 2012/Apr 2013 ERP theory of change is based on capacity development and communication. For this reason ERP documents all communication products developed to facilitate collaboration with partners. The attached report covers the period June 2012 to April 2013.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report: ERP Communication Report - Sep/Dec 2013 ERP theory of change is based on capacity development and communication. For this reason ERP documents all communication products developed to facilitate collaboration with partners. The attached report covers the period September to December 2013
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: CA Leaflet - English and Sesotho Apart from developing training tools for agricultural extension services, teachers, Academia and NGOs (posters and visual aids), ERP developed leaflets summarizing all the training information in hand outs for farmers and students to take home with them. Leaflets serve as reference but also contribute to increase the spill over effect. 50,000 copies (8,000 in English and 42,000 in Sesotho) were printed. Over 70% have been distributed so far to beneficiaries, schools and partners.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: CA Training Material Kits - English & Sesotho (Posters) CA visual training materials designed by the ERP in consultation with CATF is integrated by 3 posters, 14 visual aids for trainers which illustrate photographically important points presented in the posters and a leaflet summarizing the posters and visual aids contents (both in English and Sesotho). This training material is now available nationwide and will be soon complemented with radio and TV adverts using the same story line and design.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: CA Training Material Kits-English & Sesotho (Photoguide) CA visual training materials designed by the ERP in consultation with CATF is integrated by 3 posters, 14 visual aids for trainers which illustrate photographically important points presented in the posters and a leaflet summarizing the posters and visual aids contents (both in English and Sesotho). The attached photoguide is the English version. Sesotho version is available.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Training Material: Home Gardening & Nutrition Training Material (4 posters) After completing CA training material, ERP started the design of visual and harmonized Home Gardening and Nutrition training materials with HGNWG. It includes adaptation techniques to improve homestead vegetable production, tips on watering, frost, pest control, care of fruit trees, nutrition basic information and needs of special groups presented in 4 posters. Leaflets for wide distribution are being completed including the posters and additional information such as recipes and home remedies.