Grafting solutions to reduce pathogens

In Ghana, there is a growing concern among some conventional and organic vegetable farmers about the destruction of their crops by soil-borne pathogens/diseases such as bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes. The situation is even worse among subsistence farmers who are growing tomatoes in the open field and whose crops are being infected by all three pathogens simultaneously as either primary or secondary infections. The use of agro-chemical treatments has been the only option for farmers and this has raised some concerns over the cost. This is coupled with the fact that consumers are very critical of residues in vegetables, as noted from a country whose vegetable exports have been hit with a ban in recent times.

In most farming communities dry season vegetable production is done close to rivers and streams which creates the possibility of contaminating these rivers and the underground water with agro-chemical from run off and drainage if not done properly. In an effort to address some of these problems there has been a surge in the construction of greenhouses across the country with the idea that growing in soil less media (cocopeat) will exclude the soil-borne pathogens plus provide an added advantage of growing crops in a controlled and protected environment.

Interestingly, there are cases of outbreaks of bacterial wilt diseases caused by the bacteria Ralstonia solanacearum in most tomato production greenhouses.

In response to these challenges, I am proposing the use of a grafting technology dubbed “grafting solutions”, which will see major vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers being grafted for greenhouse and open field farmers. Currently, I have grafted more than 2,000 tomato plants as trial for greenhouse tomato production using locally identified wild resistant root stocks in addition to some commercial root stocks. This has proven to be very successful against these pathogens.

In spite of the success realized so far, I continue to test more root stock seeds for yield and other crop performance indices to settle on the best root stock and scion combinations in the area of compatibility and fruit quality. Also, to cut costs, I am using very simple inputs such as drinking straws as grafting tubes or clips, razor blades and Styrofoam boxes. My chief motivation behind this idea is to supply affordable grafted plants to the greenhouse and open field farmers whilst also creating employment for youth.

To create awareness of the possibility of using grafted plants, I demonstrate the process of grafting during training programs with some level of hands-on practice for participants whom I believe will be ambassadors and channel the information to other farmers. Through such training programs, I have received some requests for grafted plants which I intend to meet by close of the year 2019. This will enable me to upscale and meet demand.

Charles Agyeman, Ghana

51 comments

  1. This is a very good approach for w farmers in Ghana into production of tomatoes both in the open fIeld and greenhouse production. I guess this is a long lasting solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wow what a laudable research. I have been a victim to some of these soil borne diseases of tomatoes and almost lost all my investment. I will therefore not hesitate in trying this method in the open field. Thanks for the eye opener.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good work, this is a good way forward to reduce diseases in vegetable production and also provide employment for the youth, farmers can also have a reliable source of planting materials

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m greatly inspired the innovation and creativity conceived and driven into action. The discovery of grafting plants, process of creating awareness on this useful finding and provision of hands-on training to others to continue the lineage, is such a thrilling to entity reckon. The materials that make up this article is without doubt the best. I like how the safety of the organic plants as well as its environment, is emphasized. It embodies a good research for growth of agro-matters and this can lead on by the good examples to find about other great discoveries. The world is in safe hands and agriculture has a future. As the article spell out creative means to avoid contamination with quicker findings which poses no harm and also secures job opportunities to even others, filling almost all the necessary vacuums.

    This article is brilliant. Thumbs up and thank you for the good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An indepth field analysis. Findings should be implemented and replicated throughout the country to mitigate current issues with vegetable production in the country

    Like

  6. Interesting. I believe Ghanaian farmers (tomato growers) would be very happy to hear this. Bacteria wilt has been one of the hectic diseases of tomatoes. Thanks to this grafting solutions.

    Like

  7. This is a great work to reckon with.
    This will go a long way to reduce residual pesticides effects. Besides, it will go a long way to reduce the cost of farming in terms of pesticides.

    This work will equally help to facilitate organic farming.

    Like

  8. Thanks a lot for these innovation Sir. Charles.
    I had the opportunity to visit farmers on the field severally and the rate at which they use agro chemicals just to combat pathogens is very appalling. How can you spray your vegetables with chemical like attack or pyrical during the harvesting period and sell to people to consume.
    I don’t blame the poor farmer because he cannot prefer to lose all as the varieties he grows are not that resistant to the actual pathogens in his area and the chemicals are also readily available.
    I therefore take much delight in these research and will encourage you to extend it to a bigger level.

    Like

  9. This is a good idea of helping the local farmers secure their vegetable crops from losses. You also making good use of the local materials. Great work Charles(Mr.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Splendid. I think this technology will invariably reduce the cost of insecticide use by farmers. Keep it up and I looking forward to seeing more of such wonderful innovation.

    Like

  11. This is good news for our farmers and our health. I am particularly excited in the use of local and low cost material to solve such a huge problem in our vegetable production sector. Hope this will have a widespread application and easily adopted. Continue with the good work Charles.

    Like

  12. This is an explorable innovation which must be supported by all. I had the chance of grafting myself and the results were encouraging.

    Using suitable rootstocks, the possibility of fighting diseases such as the Fusarium wilt, and the Root knot nematodes is high.

    Congratulations

    Like

  13. Have sat in university lecture theatres listening to theoritical knowledge about grafting and I never knew it’s essence. Being part of your training program has enlightened me on the need to control these soil pathogens in order for farmers to make good money out of their quality produce. Personally I think it’s a great idea and I wish to be recruited to help you graft and meet your market demand

    Like

  14. That’s a very good start, keep it up. We need more creativity as this to revive our agriculture sector. God richly bless and give you much insight.

    Like

  15. Wow that’s great, very educative and a better way of improving agriculture in the country. Wish this practices and technology can be well extended to the grassroot farmers.
    Thumbs up.

    Like

  16. Not just learning about grafting technique but being one of the fortunate people to have a hands on experience in this technique with you. It was really amazing from the start to finish and I wish everyone cold see how the tomatoes were flourishing.
    Its a wonderful and excellent technique.
    Good work Charles.

    Like

  17. Not just learning about grafting technique but being one of the fortunate people to have a hands on experience in this technique with you. It was really amazing from the start to finish and I wish everyone cold see how the tomatoes were flourishing.
    Its a wonderful and excellent technique.
    Good work Charles.

    Like

  18. Not just learning about grafting technique but being one of the fortunate people to have a hands on experience in this technique with you. It was really amazing from the start to finish and I wish everyone cold see how the tomatoes were flourishing.
    Its a wonderful and excellent technique.
    Good work Charles.

    Like

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