I am a practical farmer who has cultivated different types of crops; unfortunately, I have come to realize that productivity of crops grown for human consumption is at risk due to the incidence of pests and diseases. I have concluded that crop losses due to these harmful organisms can be substantial and can be prevented or reduced by good agronomic practices (GAP) and integrated pest control (IPM) measures. These can provide cost effective, environmentally sound and socially acceptable methods of managing pest for sustainable crop protection.
As an FFBS facilitator, Ieducate farmers on GAP and encourage the adoption of environmentally and economically sustainable pest management approaches founded on the principles of IPM. In addition, I am now an applicant for the upcoming annual regular training organized by the Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA) on IPM in order to upgrade my knowledge and skills on IPM for sustainable crop protection.
As an extension officer, I am aware that tomato is one of the major crops grown in Kano State providing more than 50% of the total production in the country. Unfortunately, post harvest loses and disease attacks affect production every year. It was statistically revealed that national demand is 2.3 million tones but there is only 0.8 million actually produced. Tuta absoluta is one of the major pests troubling tomato production in Nigeria, and it’s confirmed that it can only be controlled through GAP and IPM control measures.
To address these challenges, I’ve decided to emphasize on GAP and IPM measures through sensitization/mobilization/ and motivation of farmers; establishment of demo plots through collective action; involvement of key and relevant stakeholders, and other means in order to achieve sustainable crop protection. I am also planning to develop a green house that will serve as a learning environment for farmers and motivate them to adopt the technology in order to prevent pest and disease attacks and increase their income through production of healthy produce year-round under controlled conditions.
I am planning to apply the following steps to implement this idea:
- Sensitization of relevant stakeholders
- Identification of interested farmers
- Formation of groups based on common interest
- Training of farmers on sustainable crop protection
- Establishment of demonstration plots on GAP and IPM approaches
- Construction of greenhouse demonstration/learning field for farmers
- Providing subsidy to interested groups willing to develop a green house
- Technical backstopping
- Linkage with markets and off takers
I have already engaged in educating farmers on GAP and IPM approaches eg. use of ash; use of neem leaves; eucalyptus leaves, use of cow dung and donkey manure to control insects; as well as identification of beneficial, harmful, and neutral insects to farmers.
What has motivated me to embark on this innovation is my visit to Japan as a trainee, where I observed that tomato production can be year round using green houses and adoption of GAP. I concluded that, as a practical farmer, I can apply the Japanese experience to boost income through production of disease free tomato, year round using a greenhouse and application of GAP and IPM approaches toward sustainable crop protection. I also realize that if farmers adopt GAP, IPM approaches and greenhouse cultivation, their income will increase boosting their livelihood, and sustainable crop protection would be guaranteed.
Musa Usman Musa, Nigeria