26 Zimbabwean farmers and government officials are visiting Landcare groups in Western Australia from March 14 - 27.
The Landcare study tour has been made possible through the Australian Government's overseas aid program, managed by AusAID, and is being run by AGWEST International.
During their two week visit, the Zimbabweans will travel to a number of country centres to meet local farmers, Landcare groups and corporate sponsors of Landcare. Participants will visit award-winning Landcare groups in Morbinning and Katanning Creek, as well as the Avon Landcare Program, a joint program between Alcoa, Agriculture Western Australia, local Landcare groups and Greening Australia.
The visitors will also view educational aspects of landcare at the Tammin Alcoa Landcare Education Centre. While in the Great Southern, they will meet representatives of the Blackwood Basin Group and local landcare groups near Katanning. Also on the tour is a meeting with the Narrogin and Wandering groups to discuss the goal to plant three million trees by 2001.
The tour is a valuable opportunity for West Australian farmers and AGWEST officers to exchange information with their counterparts from Zimbabwe, particularly as Australia and Zimbabwe face many of the same environmental challenges.
Most participants come from areas that have been flooded after the cyclones which hit the region earlier this month, and their crops and property have been damaged. The study tour will help provide them with skills and knowledge to deal with the repair work and address problems such as soil erosion, dramatically increased due to the floods.
After their fortnight with West Australian farmers, the group will return home having witnessed the importance of involving all sections of the community in improving management of the land in Zimbabwe.
Media Contacts: Theo Nabben (AGWEST)
0417 919 420
Tony Malkovic (AGWEST Media) 08 9368 3641
Jacinta Cubis (AusAID) 02 6206 4967 / 0417 680 590