BIP Youth Outgrowers’ team displaying harvested vegetables in the open field.

IITA BIP and partners host virtual Vegetable Field Day for farmers

Vegetables are one of the most consumed foods worldwide because of their high nutritional value. Although the vegetable business is profitable, vegetable farmers usually face challenges accessing quality seed, knowledge of good agronomic practices, and markets.

In resolving these challenges, the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP), in conjunction with Rijk Zwaan and Seedforth Agro, hosted a virtual Vegetable Field Day on 30 September. The aim was to showcase vegetables and their market potential to farmers and equip them with knowledge on crop management practices, and where to source for quality seeds.

The event brought together breeders, agronomists, and agribusiness specialists from host organizations who shared with farmers advice ranging from markets, use of quality seed,  good agronomic practices, and dealing with pests and diseases.

BIP Youth Outgrowers’ team displaying harvested vegetables in the open field.

BIP Youth Outgrowers’ team displaying harvested vegetables in the open field.

Clement Onoja, Business Development Manager, Seedforth Agro, enlightened participants on good crop management strategies for selected vegetables including how to detect and manage plant viral and bacterial diseases.

In her input on good agronomic practices, Miriam Samekpolo, IITA BIP vegetable team lead, advised farmers that choosing good seed, good soil, and setting up a greenhouse would aid maximum productivity in vegetable farming.

Eugene Agricolo of Rijk Zwaan, Agricolo spoke on the general procedure for raising good  seedlings. “Raising seedlings/nursery involves making a good bed, using organic manure, having a good planting material, and good dedication to the plants for good production,” he said.

The vegetable field day happens every year and is hosted by IITA BIP. Participants are taken on a tour of the greenhouse where vegetables are planted, and the field where crops are showcased. This year’s demonstration was virtual with a live video from the greenhouse and open field at IITA. Vegetables, including tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, sweet pepper, and cabbage were showcased.

Youth Outgrowers Program vegetable greenhouse.

Youth Outgrowers Program vegetable greenhouse.

Rijk Zwaan is an organization known for quality seed and high-yielding vegetable varieties. The organization breeds over 25 different types of vegetables, including lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, sweet pepper, and cabbage. Varieties of these crops are selected based on traits such as flavor, texture, consistency, production capacity, health, and nutritional values.

Seedforth Agro is the sole distributor of Rijk Zwaan seeds and farmers have been linked to them for access to seed, market linkages, and technical support services that can increase their yield.

IITA-BIP is available for partnership and collaboration on vegetable production. To learn more about BIP, visit www.iitabip.org or contact Victor Saleh (victorsaleh@iitagoseed.com) or Miriam Samekpolo (m.samekpolo@cgiar.org).

agribusinessfood securityIITA News no. 2558vegetables

Communications • 24th October 2020

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