Helping the rice farmers in Ngoketunjia, Cameroon
This is our second trip to Ndop (Province of Ngoketunjia), Cameroon for the purpose of helping the rice farmers to empower themselves by providing them skills designed to improve yields and reduce costs.
a) 216 farmers being trained by the programme
During the first trip 3 farming groups participated in the programme. During the second trip, each farming group implemented a Breeding Farm. The Breeding Farm will remain the responsiblity of the chairmen/chairwomen of the group. The produce of the breeding farm will not be sold. Instead the breeding farm will ensure that the farmers protect the quality of their seed for futures farming cycles and for the expansion of SRI.
During the first trip 36 farmer leaders were trained by the programme. During the second trip each of these farmer leaders setup a multiplication farm. They will work on the multiplication farm with 5 other farmers and so the multiplication farm become a mechanism for introducing SRI to 216 farmers. Furthermore the multiplication farm is offshoot or replica from the breeding farm and it is meant to expand the traits or qualities of a breeding farm.
b) Number of tillers per plant at 45-55 in places (from 20-30 before the programme)
The farmers are currently at the initial stages of the farming cycle and are in the process of nursing their plants. This is the process by which they use seeds to grow plants in nurseries and once the plants are a certain age, the plants will be transplanted to the main farms. In this initial nursing stage, the farmers are reporting back that they are getting up to 45-55 tillers per plant. The farmers tell us that in the past they never got more than 20-30 tillers. A tiller is the number of stalks on each rice plant and each tiller will eventually bear rice. The more tillers per plant, the more rice farmers will get during the harvest. So this is a first and very positive sign that the techniques we are introducing will give the farmers a higher yield.
c) Feedback from the farmers
We are particularly excited by the fact that under their own initiative the farmers established the Ngoketunjhia SRI Seed Programme (NSSP). This is an organization encompassing the 3 farming groups and run by representative farmers. The farmer’s objectives for the organisation are as follows:
Their feedback on the two activities we organised so far is as follows:
“ Farmers in Ndop are very much excited and satisfied with Henry`s trips as the results in the fields are doing great (Tianghou has 46 tillers, Makew has 55 tillers and Church Street has 23tillers on their Demo plots).
Farmers find very useful the seed preparation method of using an egg (priming),field preparation method of using the marker, transplanting in letter L-shape on Hills following lines, transplanting at younger age and quickly from the nursery bed, water management methods of constructing embankments, transplanting 25cm x 25cm 0n the rows and along the rows, preparation/application of manure by grinding of animal droppings and broadcasting in between the plants.
Farmers are implementing all the techniques in their individual farms and very excited as experimenters to see and compare the results during harvesting and post harvest (marketing) values.”