• Cultural Biodiversity
    Cultural Biodiversity

McKnight Foundation

Push-Pull Technology (PPT) by Farmers Research Group (FRG) – McKnight Foundation

Background

The overall objective of the project is to establish three interactive platforms that bring together groups of farmers (FRGs) linked into a farmers” Research Network (FRN) for increased use of PPT where farmers, both men and women, will play a key role in selecting and adopting technologies by participating in the whole process of research and development agenda. The FEGs/FRNs are expected to entertain ideas, information, knowledge and experience exchanges from the different perspectives of a technology, push-pull for this case, so that they will choose the appropriate form of technology based on their own context. In 2018 based on the stated objective,(i) Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), as both supervisor and implementer (monitoring and evaluation, consultative meetings and promoting experience sharing components) and (ii) research activities implementers: Wollo and Woldia universities have continued to execute the following activities.

Wollo University and ISD:

Interventions/Activities

  •   Farmers Research Network (FRN) Research team discussion with stakeholders: Wollo University   research team and ISD staff hold discussion with officials of the two Zones (South wollo and Oromya special zone) and four woredas (Ambaslworeda, Kaluworeda, Dawa-chefaworeda and Artuma-fursiworeda) and reached a common consensus on how to go through the project implementation activities initially proposed by the research team.
  •   Revised of FRN’s/FRGs working by laws and meeting schedules: Farmers Research Group (FRG) as one component of Farmers Research Network (FRN) is organized in four districts of the project implementation areas namely Kalu, Ambasl, DawaChefa and ArtumaFursi districts having a total member of 102 men and 27 women farmers and in addition 10 volunter farmers implemented in GerbeKeble.
  •   Re-formation of the FRNs/FRGs
  •   Revised of FRN’s/FRGs working bylaws and meeting schedules
  •   The districts had allocated land in their nursery sites for the development of Desmodium and Brachiaria seedling.
  •   Provisions of theoretical and practical training on push pull technology and FRN principles.
  •   Sowing of Sorghum, transplanting of Brachiaria and Desmodium seedling   in the farmers field
  •    Sowing of Desmodium and Brachiaria Seeds at Nursery sites and transplanting to the PPT plots.
  •   Monitoring and evaluation of   push pull establishment on farmers’ fields
  •   Gaping of Sorghum and replacement of failed Desmodium and Brachiaria seedling
  •    farmers’ field days and experience sharing among districts level FRGs/FRN
  •   FRN/FRGs discussion and follow up
  •   Learning and knowledge sharing among farmers groups, extension workers and research teams
  •   ISD in collaboration with Wollo & Woldia Universities prepared stakeholder meeting in June 3-5, 2018 to monitor and evaluate activities implemented since last year, to share experience on how the project team, individuals, and involved organizations have changed due to the new knowledge/capacity gained and lessons learned on PPT.

  139 farming households (29 female headed) are mainstreamed by the project : -training, experience sharing and group discussion, etc. for PPT development

Major Achievements  

  • This year 5 FRGs consists of 139 farming households where 29 of them, 21% are female headed households are setup, grouped and functioning.
  • Farmers Perception on Push Pull Technology (PPT) activities starting 2017 Analyzed: Participated farmers were organized in 8 FRG/FRN groups to participate in participatory research process and the total number of farmers were 129 of which 102 (79.1%) were male and 27 (20.9%) were female. The perception of   farmers about the technology and their research group were identified and collected by using group discussion (i.e. the research group) and the result is analyzed by using SPSS V.20.
  • The perception of the farmers on FRG:- it strengths communication and that helps to cooperate labor specially for women who have labor shortage for implementing the technology is explained by 62% of the participants whereas 38% of them explained that it doesn’t contribute to cooperation. The participant farmers also observed FRG/N which creates a sense of competition between them, explained by 66.7% of them, in implementing the technology in which they visit their farm during group discussion.
  • The farmers’   perception on PPT – (i) Both Brachiaria and Desmodium is a source of animal feed and conserve moisture, explained by 100% and 95.3% of the participants respectively. By this it is implied that yield of biomass is higher compared to non PPT and the coverage of the soil by the technology helps to conserve moisture for the crop. (ii) The perception of the farmers on PPT reduces the infestation (a) of Striga on the crop land is explained by 79.8% of them whereas 20.2% of the farmers expressed that it doesn’t protect Striga infestation and (b) of stem borer on the crop land is explained by 51.9% of them whereas 48.1% of the farmers expressed that it doesn’t protect Striga infestation
  • Peer learning and discussions among farmers increased motivation in the research and development works of the project.
  • Some farmers started producing desmodium and bracheria seed.
  • Farmers used Brachiaria for soil conservation in different gully rehabilitation.
  • Participant farmers have enhanced their communication skill because of the usual gatherings to discuss on the PPT. This is particularly very important for the empowerment of female farmers
  • The participant farmers have used the FRN group as small credit service (Kaluworeda participants)
  • The farmers have observed that the PPT is not only used to protect their crop from stalk borer, but also another crop pest (American full arm worm)
  • Some of the farmers used their own technique of water conservation structure in order to solve the problem of Desmodium development.
  • Beyond the discussion and learning each other on the PPT, the farmers used the FRN group to discuss on their social issues and to help each other.
  • Evaluating the farm activities of each farmers and ranking the performance based on their own ranking methods (PPT performance, the management of the farm and the infestation both stock borer and Striga), and forward comments, suggestion and possible solution.
  • How Brachiaria seedling well grow in fertile soil but Desmodium require less fertile soil
  • The need of bylaw to control free grazing.
  • Even though some farmers are trying to scale out the technology, it is not expanded as expected.
  • The growth rate of the food crop and push pull plants is not similar. The food crops grow very rapidly as compared to the push pull plants; this in turn has its own impact on the degree of infestation.
  • The pest protection status of the push pull plants in sorghum crop is not the same as maize. It is higher in sorghum crop.
  • Free grazing problem in some sorghum growing areas.
  • Recurrent occurrence of new crop pest species other than the targeted pest (stalk borer).
  • Less involvement of agricultural office especially in Ambasel woreda
  • FRN Research team discussion with stakeholders: Woldia University research team and ISD staff hold discussion among themselves and with other key stakeholders to implement the 2018 planned activities with a new approach by including farmers’ research group and farmers’ research network in four districts (Raya-Kobo, Kobo Town, Gubalafto and Habru).
  • Provisions of theoretical and practical training on push pull technology and FRN principles.
  • Sowing of Sorghum, transplanting of Brachiaria and Desmodium seedling   in the farmers field
  • Sowing of Desmodium and Brachiaria Seeds at Nursery sites and transplanting to the PPT plots.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of   push pull establishment on farmers’ fields
  • farmers’ field days and experience sharing among districts level FRGs/FRN
  • FRN/FRGs discussion and follow up
  • Learning and knowledge sharing among farmers groups, extension workers and research teams
  • ISD in collaboration with Woldia and Wollo Universities prepared stakeholder meeting in June 3-5, 2018 to monitor and evaluate activities implemented since last year, to share experience on how the project team, individuals, and involved organizations have changed due to the new knowledge/capacity gained and lessons learned on PPT.
  • 134 farming households (25 female headed) are mainstreamed by the project: -training, experience sharing and group discussion, etc. for PPT development
  • 17 Development agents and 14 district officers, in total 31, are trained on PPT development
  • 13 FRGs consists of 134 farming households where 109 of them, 81% are male and 25 of them, 19% are female headed households established/strengthened
  • Most of the trained farmers have interest increased to implement the technology and their willing for the arrangements of FRG/N improved.
  • Development agents better involved as compared to the previous year
  • Farmers prepared inputs (seed of sorghum and maize) by themselves, which fit their own specific needs
  • The farm land selected for the PPT implementation is well prepared
  • Desmodium and Bracheria seedlings grown in two nursery sites

Lessons Learned:

  • Participant farmers have enhanced their communication skill because of the usual gatherings to discuss on the PPT. This is particularly very important for the empowerment of female farmers
  • The participant farmers have used the FRN group as small credit service (Kaluworeda participants)
  • The farmers have observed that the PPT is not only used to protect their crop from stalk borer, but also another crop pest (American full arm worm)
  • Some of the farmers used their own technique of water conservation structure in order to solve the problem of Desmodium development.
  • Beyond the discussion and learning each other on the PPT, the farmers used the FRN group to discuss on their social issues and to help each other.
  • Evaluating the farm activities of each farmers and ranking the performance based on their own ranking methods (PPT performance, the management of the farm and the infestation both stock borer and Striga), and forward comments, suggestion and possible solution.
  • How Brachiaria seedling well grow in fertile soil but Desmodium require less fertile soil 
  • The need of bylaw to control free grazing.

Challenging Experience

  • Even though some farmers are trying to scale out the technology,  it is not expanded as expected.
  • The growth rate of the food crop and push pull plants is not similar. The food crops grow very rapidly as compared to the push pull plants; this in turn has its own impact on the degree of infestation.
  • The pest protection status of the push pull plants in sorghum crop is not the same as maize. It is higher in sorghum crop.
  • Free grazing problem in some sorghum growing areas.
  • Recurrent occurrence of new crop pest species other than the targeted pest (stalk borer).
  • Less involvement of agricultural office especially in Ambasel woreda

Interventions/Activities

Woldia University and ISD:

  • FRN Research team discussion with stakeholders: Woldia University research team and ISD staff hold discussion among themselves and with other key stakeholders to implement the 2018 planned activities with a new approach by including farmers’ research group and farmers’ research network in four districts (Raya-Kobo, Kobo Town, Gubalafto and Habru).
  • Provisions of theoretical and practical training on push pull technology and FRN principles.
  • Sowing of Sorghum, transplanting of Brachiaria and Desmodium seedling   in the farmers field
  • Sowing of Desmodium and Brachiaria Seeds at Nursery sites and transplanting to the PPT plots.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of   push pull establishment on farmers’ fields
  • farmers’ field days and experience sharing among districts level FRGs/FRN
  • FRN/FRGs discussion and follow up
  • Learning and knowledge sharing among farmers groups, extension workers and research teams
  • ISD in collaboration with Woldia and Wollo Universities prepared stakeholder meeting in June 3-5, 2018 to monitor and evaluate activities implemented since last year, to share experience on how the project team, individuals, and involved organizations have changed due to the new knowledge/capacity gained and lessons learned on PPT.
  • 134 farming households (25 female headed) are mainstreamed by the project: -training, experience sharing and group discussion, etc. for PPT development
  • 17 Development agents and 14 district officers, in total 31, are trained on PPT development

 

Major Achievements  

  • 13 FRGs consists of 134 farming households where 109 of them, 81% are male and 25 of them, 19% are female headed households established/strengthened
  • Most of the trained farmers have interest increased to implement the technology and their willing for the arrangements of FRG/N improved.
  • Development agents better involved as compared to the previous year
  • Farmers prepared inputs (seed of sorghum and maize) by themselves, which fit their own specific needs
  • The farm land selected for the PPT implementation is well prepared
  • Desmodium and Bracheria seedlings grown in two nursery sites

Lessons Learned:

In order to increase the survival of both Desmodium and Beracheria to apply on the local/traditional sorghum variety the following point were raised by farmers during their FRG/N discussion

  1.    Adjusting planting date i.e. planting of sorghum Bracheria and Desmodium on the first onset of rainfall and if the rain continues farmers might re-sow the sorghum leaving the Desmodium and Bracheria on the field.
  2.  Applying soil and water conservation practices, like tie ridge, it is the most effective methods of conserving waters in the low land 
  •  Keeping Desmodium strips permanently on the field reduces labor intensiveness of the technology
  •  FRN/G helps farmers to discuss not only the technology but also other social and economic problems.
  •  FRN/G brings women on board to discuss about the technology and other issues without fear.

Challenging   Experience:

  • Brachiaria attracts birds when it flowers and sets seed; difficult to collect the seed
  • Survival rate of Brachiaria and Desmodium were difficult during the long dry season
  • Implementation of PPT is highly labor demanding, particularly at the planting time
  • Though there is some progress Women farmers’ participation is still below the expectation,
  • The effectiveness of PPT at the early stage is questionable
  • Low moisture stress effects on the survival of Desmodium on local/traditional sorghum variety