Sara’s secret to a thriving amaranth crop: Reduce the planting density.
This adventurous farmer tried a new planting technique and is reaping the benefits of her field trial.
“Everybody loves boulanboulan (amaranth),” said Mrs. Sara Sawadogo. “So it is grown by most gardeners in our area (near Gampela, Burkina Faso).” Farmers previously harvested amaranth (from plots 37.5 square meters in size) four to five times before replanting and sold each harvest at 2,500 FCFA (US$5.32).
Now, when you look around, I am the best; my plants are much more verdant.
Sara is selling her amaranth at 3000 FCFA ($6.38) per harvest because of the improved production techniques she applies. “When the technician proposed to reduce the planting density, all the farmers refused because it is against normal practice: we usually broadcast, just as in the nursery,” she said. “I volunteered to try his proposition. Now, when you look around, I am the best; my plants are much more verdant. Everyone now regrets to have refused to be part of the trial. We did not know that fewer plants yield more.”
Contributors: Regine Kamga (AVRDC) and Salibo Some (ASUDEC)