No Contest: Conservation Agriculture’s the Winner!
Monday, the chairman of one of the program’s farmers’ associations, says that, “Before [local partner] P.A.G. trained us in Conservation Agriculture we would go to our local markets and buy the Irish potato seeds that were available there. We would get low yields because we didn’t have the necessary knowledge or skills, and the quality of the seed was not good to begin with.”
P.A.G. gave them hands-on instruction in all aspects of potato production, including:
– recognizing and selecting good-quality Irish potato seed
– improving the soil organically, preparing the land and planting at just the right time
– using proper spacing
– applying organic pesticides
– dehaulming (removing the above-ground plant parts two weeks before harvest for better seed propagation)
– employing post-harvest practices like proper storage
Monday’s farmer’s association settled participants’ minds once and for all about the value of Conservation Agriculture with two 13’ x 13’ demonstration plots that showcased traditional methods in one and Conservation Agriculture in the other. The traditional plot yielded just under the area average of 33 lbs. per acre, or 124 pounds for the plot. On the other plot they harvested 5,865 lbs. in the same amount of space by using improved seeds and Conservation Agriculture principles.
Monday said with pride, “The association was able to sell 14 bags of potatoes at $41 apiece, or $574 total. We feel our prayers have been answered and all our problems concerning Irish potato production have been solved.”
The farmers in the association were overwhelmed with the success of the harvest and, as a result, they have committed to adopting the Conservation Agriculture principles on their own farms for the next season.
Uganda Rubanda Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner P.A.G.