The goal of the project is to demonstrate modern field vegetable production methods and train farmers in the application of these methods.
Objectives of the project
The project addresses the risks involved in tropical field vegetable production factors at field level. The project will contribute to greater resilience and yield stability and will introduce farmers to modern production methods. Farmers are introduced to new, suitable varieties and are trained in modern production methods. With the cultivation on the demonstration field, further experience is gained with modern production methods under the local conditions. The experience gained in demonstration and training in Arusha in 2011, will in 2012 be used for a second demonstration and training field in Lushoto.
- In 2012 new varieties and modern production techniques were demonstrated with tomato and sweet pepper. The tomato demonstration field was, for practical reasons, located at the Afrisem premises, near Arusha. The sweet pepper demonstration field is located in Lukosi, Lushoto, about four hours’ drive east from Arusha. Both locations are in the highlands at around 1000 m.a.s.l..
- The demonstration field with tomato was started in June at the Afrisem premises. This demonstrationfield served two purposes:
- To show farmers the potential benefits of the use of improved varieties and new production techniques;
- To collect data on the impact of the use of new technologies
- Preliminary data collected from the tomato demonstration field show that Improved varieties may show a twenty per cent yield increase, that transplant production method has an impact on seed germination, that transplant production method had no effect on survival rates of plants or on final yield, that the application of mulch, (i) reduces the need for labour on weeding, (ii) increases the rate of plant survival, and (iii) increases marketable yield, and that drip tape in combination with mulch enhances marketable yield with 35 per cent compared to conventional farmers practice.
- In September a sweet pepper demonstration field was implemented on a farmers’ field in Lukozi, Lushoto, North East Tanzania. The effects of improved varieties, different methods of transplant production and the application of plastic mulch are demonstrated on this field. At the end of the year crop growth and development showed promising positive effects between treatments. Crop production is scheduled to continue until February 2013, after which results will become available.
- Regular visits are organized for farmers and other stakeholders to observe the results in the field and to discuss the possible impact of new techniques when introduced on farmers’ fields. Besides these formal organized visits, farmers are welcome to visit the field whenever they like to observe growth, development, production and quality of the tomatoes and sweet pepper.