The wealth of a visit
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CTA. 2002. The wealth of a visit. Spore 98. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47509
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore98.pdf
In Malawi, there is a vernacular proverb that 'Knowledge is wealth'. Agroforestry workers from eastern and southern Africa went to Malawi and Zambia in January looking for that wealth, and they found it. It was at the end of an intensive two-week...
In Malawi, there is a vernacular proverb that 'Knowledge is wealth'. Agroforestry workers from eastern and southern Africa went to Malawi and Zambia in January looking for that wealth, and they found it. It was at the end of an intensive two-week study visit jointly organised by the Malawi Agroforestry Research Project and CTA that the workers realised that they had made a fortune in a couple of weeks. They had learned about several technologies in use in both countries to address major land-use problems affecting the productivity of small-scale farmers: low soil fertility, soil degradation and a shortage of firewood, poles and timber. The technologies, which the participants came across in Malawi include relay-cropping of sesbania and maize, intercropping of gliricidia and maize, fodder banks, developing woodlots on steep slopes and tree planting along farm boundaries and in homesteads.The agroforestry workers found much of the wanted wealth when they visited the fields where farmers are applying the technologies, with technical advice from researchers. They witnessed at first hand what thousands of the country s farmers are achieving by successfully testing technologies to improve their yields, and to sustainably produce other necessities like firewood. They also learned how farmers are themselves experimenting with the technologies and providing researchers with useful feedback on performance. This is used to redesign and fine-tune the technologies. The agroforestry workers 19 from eight countries really came out of their exhilirating time together wealthier in knowledge, which they seem eager to translate into wealth in their respective countries. [caption to illustration] How people exchange knowledge in practice