Extension on Seed and Cultivation Practices Topic Conducts First On-station Demonstration for Farmers

On the 4th of December 2021, the Extension on Seed and Cultivation Practices topic held its first on-station demonstration at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. The training involved a varietal demonstration of improved nursery production on vegetable seedlings compared with conventional practices using local varieties of tomatoes and cabbage. The training had in attendance a total of 37 people comprising 22 female and 15 male trainees. The trainees comprised of 8 extension agents and 29 smallholder farmers.

Participants were first trained on compost manure making and seedling raising using different propagation mediums. The lead trainer, Engineer Haruna Aminu Gattah, is a member of the Department of Agricultural and Bio-Resources Engineering at ABU. He demonstrated the best method of preparing compost manure and explained the importance of its use to improve soil fertility. The farmers were also trained on the use of seed trays to raise seedlings. Engr. Gattah stated that the combined use of seed trays and cocopeat and compost manure as planting mediums presents many benefits to farmers; it saves seeds, reduces damage to the root of seedlings during transplanting, ensures uniformity in growth, and promotes survival. He also demonstrated how to carry out light irrigation after sowing vegetable seeds using 16L knapsack sprayers.

Following the demonstrations, farmers and extension agents were divided into groups to practice what they learned. By adopting the new methods in their activities, the participating farmers can improve their vegetable cultivation practices and increase productivity and household income. The extension agents are expected to further transfer learnings on improved vegetable cultivation practices to other farmers.

This training is the first of many that will be conducted under the Extension on Seed and Cultivation practices topic of the Collaborative Seed Programme. It relates to the action research on the influence of protected nurseries on the performance of tomato and cabbage under a controlled environment (screen house) using seedling trays, coco peat, and compost as mediums for propagation. The topic will carry out eight (8) additional action research projects related to the adoption of quality seeds of improved varieties and advanced cultivation practices among farmers and extension agents.

Background Information on the Extension on Seed and Cultivation Practices Topic

The ambition of the Extension on Seed and Cultivation Practices is to enhance public and private extension services that promote farmers’ use of quality seed of improved varieties combined with advanced cultivation practices. For more on the topic, visit: https://csp-nigeria.org/extension-on-seed-and-cultivation-practices/