One of the key elements of the The Inputs Partnership is to extend crop production and good agricultural practices to farmers within the BAGC supported irrigation schemes.
A series of regular and extensive field days forms part of the Inputs Partnership activities. It gives farmers the chance not only to view trial plots of various crops that they are interested in producing but also allows them to get to know our team.
Late last month a combined team of K2 Seeds, Yara and Bayer agronomists met with farmers who are part of the Mukai Kwaedza Association. They farm within the Mussapa Irrigation scheme producing amongst others, beans, baby corn, cabbage and tomatoes.
The BAGC Secretariat organises the field days and manages the crop trials with the help of local company representatives and farmers themselves. The events are hands-on with farmers getting direct advice from the agronomists during the event as well as being able to assess the impact of good agricultural practices combined with responsible inputs use.
During this current season the focus is on common bean production – a major food and revenue crop for farmers. Beans are a principal source of protein and micronutrients, as the majority of the population cannot afford to get protein from animal sources; beans also play an important role in helping to improve soil fertility mainly through nitrogen fixation. For these farmers beans also serve as a cash crop with better market values compared to cereals (i.e. maize, sorghum). Farm households usually reserve part of their bean production to sell in local markets and can use the income to pay for such basic needs as education of children, health care including medicine, and household consumption goods.
There was a good turn out with the majority of farmers from the Mukai Farmers association attending as well as representatives from two nearby associations, and community and administrative leaders.