ATASP-I sorghum outreach green mini field days showcase various production technologies
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), under the Sorghum Outreach implementation activities of the Nigeria Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program – Phase 1 (ATASP-1) for 2019 held green mini field days in seven communities and Nana Asma’u Girls Secondary School, Kamba, Dandi Local Government Area (LGA) all in Kebbi-Sokoto Staple Crops Processing Zone (SCPZ). The field days were held on 3 to 9 October on different categories of fields, which included extension agent-managed demonstration plots (Varietal demonstration), farmer-managed plots (Community seed production), a student- managed demonstration plot (Young Farmers Club), and ICRISAT’s Research Technician- managed demonstration plot (Fertilization strategy) showcasing various sorghum production technologies.
The technologies demonstrated were in addition to good agronomic practices (GAP), which the participants appreciated, particularly at Makata’i and Sabon Guguwa communities of Ngaski LGA. When the demonstrations at Makata’i and Sabon Guguwa communities were first established, the farmers in the communities were skeptical. Some of the concerns raised included the crop not growing well; “stem borer” pest will devastate the crop; this was not the way to plant sorghum; the spacing was too short; etc.
The farmers were delighted by the outcome during the field days. They commended the Sorghum Outreach for the positive performance of the crop and the demonstrated technology, which they had criticized initially. Members of the communities, including the elderly and male and female children, came out in large numbers during the field days. A breakdown of the attendance showed a total number of 244 male and 127 female participants.
At Nana Asma’u Girls Secondary School, the field day was held on the Young Farmers Club’s varietal demonstration plot (Improved Deko and ICSV 400). Farmers from the host community as well as Young Farmers Club members from Government Secondary School, Kamba, were invited to participate in the field day to witness what the female students have learned regarding sorghum production.
The principal of the host school, Hajiya Sa’adatu Adamu, who was recently
posted to the school, appreciated and commended the efforts of ICRISAT/ATASP-1 for involving schools in their program of activities and for building the capacities of the students in both sorghum production and processing. Sixty members of the Young Farmers Club in the host school, 10 members of the Young Farmers Club from the invited school, 27 farmers from the community, and eight teachers of the host school were present during the field day.