Positive effect of improved agricultural practices demonstrated at Koga on-farm trials

A public field day was conducted on April 20th 2018 at four onion and potato on-farm demonstration trials in Koga irrigation command area, North Mecha district. A total of 127 participants converged at the selected farms in Chehona, Ambomesk, Enguti and Tagel. The discussion centred on the performance of the trials, at 45 days after planting.

The field day served to facilitate mutual learning and knowledge-exchange on good agricultural practices. Discussions were led by the farmers themselves and their supervising agronomists from the Koga Irrigation Project.

Farmers appreciated seeing the promising vegetative growth of the improved onion trials, at this critical production period. They expressed looking forward to assessing the yield and the bulb colour at harvest.

The growth and the overall performance of the improved potato variety was also much appreciated. However, it was noted that the uneven vegetative growth of the potatoes could be attributed to the uneven seed potato quality at planting time – they were not uniformly sprouted, affecting the uniformity of germination and subsequent growth. A lesson to be learned.

Participating farmers from adjacent blocks in the Koga irrigation command area study the programme for the field day.

The majority of field day participants were farmers from adjacent blocks in the Koga area. Also in attendance were government officials, irrigation cooperative union leaders, researchers, representatives from partner projects and private sector actors.

AgroBIG supports farmers in Koga to address challenges in horticultural production related to soil fertility management, use of quality inputs and market linkage. Earlier this year, AgroBIG partnered with agronomists from the Koga Irrigation Project. 16 trials were set up on farmers’ fields in the area, to demonstrate the differences between improved versus traditional agronomic practices on the yield and market value of potato and onion.