Capacity building through training and field days
Staff from the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan know that seeing is believing—which is why they regularly hold training and field days to share knowledge with farmers. Some of their recent activities:
Raising healthy vegetable seedlings and making compost for vegetable production
The Agricultural Research Institute (S) DI Khan in collaboration with AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center organized a one-day training workshop on how to raise healthy vegetable seedlings and make compost for vegetable production on 28 October 2015. Thirty-eight farmers participated in the training, during which they learned how to produce and manage seedlings in a nursery and how to make and use compost to reduce fertilizer costs, build soil fertility, and grow healthy crops. Farmers in the area have difficulty obtaining good quality hybrid seed; the training helped them identify authentic hybrid seed distributors.
Off-season vegetable cultivation and integrated pest management
Field training classes were conducted for women farmers on 20 October 2015 at Chevenda, Faisalabad and 28 October at Hatian, Muzaffarbad, Azad Jamuu, and Kashmir. The farmers learned about the benefits of tunnel technology, and also discussed how to control insects and diseases in tunnels. In an informal session with beneficiary farmers of Chevanda, Malik Sharif and his colleagues spoke about structural improvements in tunnels and trap technology. He explained how effective sticky traps are in controlling whitefly and other insects in the nursery.
Postharvest training for mungbean production in the rice-wheat cropping system of Sindh
On 6 October 2015, farmers, scientists, agriculture extension workers, and agriculture college teaching staff learned methods to reduce storage losses in mungbean at Quaid-e-Awam Agriculture Research Institute (QAARI), Larkana. Thirty-one participants attended two lectures and two practical demonstrations of postharvest technology, and learned methods to reduce losses by 20-30%. The benefits of mungbean as a catch crop in the rice-wheat cropping system of Sindh (and in particular, for Larkana district) were discussed.
Growing mungbean as a double crop under rainfed conditions of Pothwar region, Pakistan
A field day to highlight mungbean cultivation as a double crop in the rainfed wheat-fallow cropping system of Pothwar region was organized by collaborating institute Pulses Program, Crop Sciences Institute (CSI), National Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Islamabad at Village Pindi Gujran, District Attock on 1 October 2015. More than 120 participants attended the event, where they learned how mungbean production can rehabilitate soils and provide farmers with an extra crop benefit. Mungbean cultivation as a double crop in the wheat-fallow cropping system was initiated last year with tremendous success under the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP). Farmers showed keen interest in adopting the technology and realized the benefits of this intervention.
The Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) with the collaboration of the Agricultural Research Institute (S) DI Khan, Department of Agriculture, Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Vegetable Reseasrch Insitute-Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pulses Program, National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad and Quaid-e-Awam Agriculture Research Institute (QAARI), Larkana.
Story and photos: Mansab Ali and Shernabi Khan