Demonstrating ideas for better varieties
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2007. Demonstrating ideas for better varieties. Rural Radio Resource Pack 07/4. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57458
How farmers can share ideas and learn about improved varieties.
Demonstrating ideas for better varieties Cue: Year-by-year farmers have more seeds to choose from as seed companies bring new varieties to the market. And what better way to see what you will get for your money - than a demonstration plot. In a demonstration, farmers and seed merchants or researchers work together. They collect a good selection of improved - and local - seeds. They decide on a plot where the seed can be grown, and then they invite farmers from the local community to come and see and discuss the results. If, as the saying goes ?seeing is believing?, then seeing the results on the demonstration plots makes seed choice - and the results of storing seed correctly - crystal clear. In Malawi, Wed Chipungu runs dozens of seed demonstration plots in his work with the Pannar Seed Company. As he tells Patrick Mphaka, he believes the benefits can be greatest if farmers are involved in managing the whole thing. IN: ?What we do, we do not manage the demo plots? OUT: ?So that is my advice.? DUR?N: 2?26? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Wed Chipungu works with the Pannar Seed Company Limited in Malawi to promote demonstration field days. He was speaking to Patrick Mphaka. The interview comes from a radio resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Chipungu What we do, we do not manage the demo plots, it is the local farmers themselves that manage the demos. So the people around that farm can learn from that farmer how to manage the crop and they can choose the variety which is doing better in that area. Mphaka So in other words what you are saying is that it is not the seeds which we see but the way they can perform after we have planted them that will tell a good story? Chipungu Yes a good story because on seed we cannot just say this is a good variety without showing a farmer how it performs. But farmers have to know, to see it performing himself not just telling him. That is why we do give some seed to local farmers in the villages to see how it performs themselves. Mphaka Once you have given that seed to some farmers in the villages to what extent do you think other farmers who have not been given the seed can also learn from the farmer whom you have given the seed to demonstrate? Chipungu What we do is we distribute some trial seeds in all districts of the country, then during a certain time of the year we conduct field days and we do invite local villages, farmers around that area to attend that field day. So on that day it is when the farmers see themselves, how the varieties are performing and we do ask them to choose which variety they think is better. We want to see the actual thing happening in the field. Mphaka Taking what you do as a model, what tips would you give farmers? Chipungu First of all I have to say that a seed is a living thing, they have bought that seed, they have to keep it properly so that it should not die because if they put it on a wet place or at a hot place it will die. So the first thing is to keep the seed safely. It is an advice to local farmers, they must not buy seed from, I can say vendors. When I am saying vendors I mean there is no way somebody can just carry seed in a vehicle and start selling like bread. You can buy seed from authorised dealers because if you just buy seed from elsewhere you will regret after a year it is not seed. Mphaka It might have expired? Chipungu Expired. Mphaka Or they might have picked it from a rubbish bin somewhere? Chipungu Yes that is what people are doing. So that is my advice. End of track