|Research into Practice: Participatory research strengthens Research Uptake|
|Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:26|
A System Of Crop Intensification developed by the University of Ibadan’s Department of Agronomy in collaboration with Ajibode Organic Farmers in Nigeria has made a significant impact.
Agricultural production in Nigeria is mainly undertaken by smallholder farmers who are challenged by under-investment in basic infrastructure and disregard for their innate wealth of traditional knowledge about biological resources, practices and potential for innovation.
Ajibode Organic Farmers were asked to contribute to an agricultural research study carried out In 2010 and 2011 by University of Ibadan in the Ajibode area, which is near the University’s Teaching Research Farm. A group of farmers of short-season organic vegetable were involved in determining the effects of poultry manure extract and seeding rates on two popular leafy vegetables (namely, cockscomb (Celosia argentea) and jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius).
Two seeding rates were used:a high rate and a low rate. Then, two fertilizer treatments were used, one with poultry manure extract and one without. Both treatements were applied at rate of 100 kg N/ha.
Over the short season, observations were made on growth and yield parameters of the vegetables with feedback elicited from farmers using a structured questionnaire.
The results showed that in cockscomb the best fresh plant yield (54.7t/ha) was achieved by using a low seeding rate, and an application containing manure extract. Consistently, in the jute mallow an increased fresh and dry weight total of crop yield was achieved using low seeding rates and an application containing poultry manure extract.
Figure 1: Marketable yield of Cock comb (Celosia argentea) in ton ha-1
*Low-seeding rate with poultry manure extract increased fresh weight of the crops and resulted in higher marketable fresh leaf yield of 12.24 t/ha compared to high seed rate of 8.82 t/ha. The accrued revenue ranged between ₦882,000 to ₦1,224,000 [₦150 = $1 (US Dollar)] for high-seed rate and low-seed rate respectively, consequently increasing farmers’ income.
Research Uptake by the farmers
Before the conclusion of the research, the organic farmers were already beginning to use the research results due to the obvious benefits. They planted all their vegetables with poultry manure extract, rather than the former method of direct application of the manure. They also saw the obvious benefits of low-seeding rates and continued this practice.
During the participatory research the farmers were also taught to used neem extract (from the Neem tree) as a pesticide on their farms and have continued to do so.
The organic practices had a positive impact on the farmers by leading to a reduction in the cost of input borne by them in their organic vegetable production, and also by increasing their income through improved yields. The farmers are also sharing their knowledge of these organic practices with both students of agriculture from the University of Ibadan, and with other farmers.
Vegetable seed sowing in a farmer-participatory System of Crop Intensification with some leafy vegetables in Ibadan, Nigeria
Participative research in action
The research conducted with the farmers by the Department of Agronomy at the University of Ibadan highlighted the value of involving research users from the beginning of a project.
A participative process meant that the innate wealth of traditional knowledge about biological resources was taken into account, and testing practices and potential for innovation was a collaborative exercise. The research proved the value of using poultry manure extract and low seeding. The visible evidence persuaded the organic farmers to change their practices so as to benefit from lower input costs and greater yield.
Interactive: Do you know of other areas where this organic farming research might be successfully applied? Or do you know of any complementary research that may be of benefit to the organic farmers of Ajibode?
This article was written collaboratively by Olugbenga O. AdeOluwa, Oyewole R. Gbadamosi, Tomilola D. Adediran and Abiola O. Ogundeji of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. *E-mail for correspondence: email@example.com
Source: R.O. Gbadamosi, O.O. AdeOluwa (2014): Improving The Yield Of Celosia Argentea In Organic Farming System With System Of Crop Intensification. In: Rahmann G and Aksoy U (Eds.): Building Organic Bridges. Proceedings of the 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference at the Organic World Congress 2014. 13-15 October 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey. Thuenen Report 20, Braunschweig, Germany, pages: 859-862