Farmers across East and West Africa have been learning about improved wheat growing techniques through targeted 'field days'.
The farmer field days are an opportunity for mutual learning and interaction among key stakeholders in the wheat value chain, with the goal of increasing the adoption and dissemination of improved wheat technologies. Several field days have been organized this year, under the wheat component of the SARD-SC program.
Farmer field days were conducted at Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi, in which best practices on wheat production and variety maintenance and production were reviewed. Farmers were given the opportunity to talk to scientists about any production problems they encountered in the season.
A total of 200 farmers across the states attended. Separately, a total of 432 farmers were trained on cultural practices and agronomic interventions in wheat.
Two farmer field days were organized, one by the SARD-SC team, and one by the development agency Office du Niger, to introduce different varieties and technologies of wheat production to 120 men and 30 women.
Fifty-two extension workers and development agents received training on wheat production and management, quality seed production, and post-harvest handling. In addition, 550 farmers attended farmer field days in the Amibara District of the Afar Region.
Field days were conducted in five villages with 450 farmers attending, of which 185 were women. Extension staff and decision makers were on hand at the events, which were covered by two national television stations and one newspaper.
A field day was held at Harare Research Station to exhibit some of the best performing wheat genotypes. Attendees included a total of 90 stakeholders, of which 36 were women, and comprised farmers, agronomists, plant breeders, seed producers, policy makers, and government officials.
Four farmers’ field schools were established in Gezira State, Northern State, and River Nile State covering different technical aspects of wheat production from land preparation up to harvesting.