We finally realize! How important manure, water and soil quality all are



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We finally realize! How important manure, water and soil quality all are”
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Declared local farmers after attending Milan Farmer Field School in Toli VDC. A total of twenty seven such Farmer Field Schools (FFS) have been organized by World Education (WE) since June 2009 in cooperation with local partners with funding from the United Nations World Food Program. These FFSs aim to create food security by giving farmers theoretical and technical knowledge of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. Kanda, Bahrabis, Dogadhi and Toli are the four Village Development Committees (VDCs) where this program is currently operational.


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There were many logistical and environmental hindrances in operating these FFSs. The most significant challenge for the Milan FFS which was focused on rice production was finding an appropriate plot. After searching all over the area the participants were in the end only able to find two small plots of land situated between two streams. This unwillingness to give land to the FFS was primarily due to the small land holding farmers have in these areas. The farmers were apprehensive of IPM and they feared that giving up their land to an experiment as such could cost them their only source of food. After endless efforts to procure some land for the school the grain was sown by the farmers. The plot lacked adequate water and had to be irrigated by piped water which was also limited. After a long drought the plants started to wilt and the water in the neighboring streams also were gradually drying up.

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Morale was low among participants due to the drought and they were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the idea that IPM could help increase their total grain production. It was very difficult to inspire and encourage the participants to continue with the program. Staff were concerned about how to run the school on land that was almost useless. 4 weeks into the operation of the FFS the area finally received some rain and the dying plants gradually regained some life and began to grow and the program regained its momentum. The participants were made to replace the dead plants with new plants of a similar age. There was a marked improvement in the quality of the crop and production was up. The grain subsequently planted with 12 to 15 tillers was flourishing. This amazed the previously disbelieving participants.
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As the crop developed the participating farmers obtained a wide range of theoretical and technical knowledge. The 4 key things the participants learnt from the FFS were:

  1. Healthy crop production techniques
  2. The importance of regular crop observation


  3. How to regulate pests and protect beneficial insects

  4. A general level of expertise created after regular implementation of IPM techniques

At the end of the program it was found that the plot which used traditional farming practices produced only 300 Kg per 0.1 hectare whereas a plot using IPM techniques was able to produce 550 Kg per 0.1 hectare. This has led farmers now to implement IPM techniques on all their crops and pledge to continue doing so.


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In conclusion IPM techniques are very new concept to the farmers of Bajhura district. It has however proven to be highly effective and could be a vital tool to strengthen food security in food deficit areas like Bajhura.




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