Forage, Data Collection and Soil Water Management Training - Babati

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Forage, Data Collection and Soil Water Management Training
20 - 21 April, 2015
Babati District
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  • The training will be conducted on field

Workshop Background

The Africa RISING livestock component designed interventions in 2013-2014 to integrate improved forages into smallholder crop-livestock systems as a land management/feed strategy (previously work package 3). The main focus of the component is to generate on farm research outputs on improved forage species. In the year 2014-2015, the forage component of AR seeks to disseminate and promote the promising forage species and varieties that are specific to particular agro ecological zones (AEZ’s) in the project area.

The livestock component seeks to carry out on farm forage screening and participatory action with farmers’ to mature technologies that are still under research, such as more forage options, rations for poultry and ruminants; and also to initiate integration activities on selected farms. It is hoped that the integrated livestock feed activities for 2014-2015 will contribute immensely towards intensification mixed crop-livestock systems in Babati district through improved feed supply and land management hence increased milk production and reduced environmental degradation.

In order to achieve this, training of extension staff in data collection is the prerequisite for an effective implementation of technical solutions in the field and an important step for forages technology dissemination. If Extension staff are not trained and equipped with the skills and knowledge of the new technologies, the diffusion of technologies will not be sustainable and strengthened.

Overall Workshop Objective: To train extension staff on the research protocol and data collection tools

Specific Workshop Objectives

  1. Develop a synchronized work plan for data collection with farmers and extension staff.
  2. Develop a data collection and management strategy including the integration of farmers in the activities.
  3. To enhance the capacity of extension staff to collect on-farm biophysical data, growth and agronomic data from the on farm field trials
  4. Exchange of information and experiences on integrating farmers in on farm field trials
  5. Train farmers on theory behind on-farm land and water management strategies

List of Participants

  1. One village extension staff from each of the six villages monitoring the experimental trials
  2. One district livestock extension staff (focal person) supervising the village extension staff.
  3. Farmers involved in on-going Africa RISING trials (we see these as change agents that can potentially train other farmers)


Event Notes

Day 1: Training of Farmers and Extension staff in data collection

  • On day one the training was conducted on site in long at Lucian Quamara’s plot. The day one training was focused mainly on familiarisation of farmers and extension staff with data collection sheets, various forage and soil conservation characteristics and how to collect data using various tools and instruments.
  • Its main objective was to insuer farmers understand the purpose of on-farm biophysical data, growth and agronomic data collected from the on farm field trials
  • The son to the owner of the host site in long where the training was conducted demostrated to the rest of the farmers how to collect rainfall data using a portable rain guage provided by CIAT.
  • Fred Kizito from CIAT explained to farmers on the theory behind on-farm land and water management strategies. He also further explained the purpose of various instruments installed on demo plots as well as weather stations in the villages.
  • Farmers showed a lot of ethusiasm in the training and appreciated the importance of various biophysical data, growth and agronomic data and soil and water management data being collected on their farms to inform their day to day farming decisions.
  • All farmers present pledged to offer all necessary support in data collection activities as well as collect data alone where necessary on farm.
  • A total of 18 farmers attended the training from all the six africa RISING action villages. 2 from Seloto, 6 from long, 6 from Sabilo, 2 from Matufa, 1 from Halu and 1 from Shauri Moyo. Three extension staff from Shauri moyo, Seloto and Long attended the training on day one.

Day 2: Develop a data collection and management strategy as well as synchronize work plan for data collection with extension staff

  • The second day was specifically for extension staffs and the training was conducted in Seloto village at the village office.
  • Extension staff were introduced to the on farm protocal for integrating forages in existing crop livestock systems of Babati district. This helped develop a data collection plan as well as sycronize workplans with other district activities as well as CIAT activities in the sites.
  • The extension staff were also taken through the following questionaires;
  1. Farmers profile data questionnaire
  2. (The questionaire was not pretested because it had a few corrections that were identified during the training that needed to be addressed)
  3. Cost benefit analysis questionnaire and
  4. Participatory variety assessment Checklist
  • Finally the extens staff were trained on how to collect and backup as well as upload GPS data using either the phone or portable GPS devices
  • This skill will come in handy when they start collecting farmer profile data that has a slot for GPS coordinates on the questionaire.

Day 3 & 4: Data Collection and site visits

  • Backstoped progress on all sites in Sabilo, long and Seloto. Most of the sites were in bad shape due to the poor rains. Refer to Davids report on replanting and gap filling report.
  • Collected biophysical data, growth and agronomic data from Sabilo and Long old sites. Data from a total of 60 replicates were sampled for bioshysical data which has been shared with IFPRI.
  • 60 Samples were also collected for nutirtional analysis at CIAT laboratory
  • The data will be used for modeling and computation of yield comparisons ans well as costs benefit analysis.
  • Fred Kizito from CIAT also collected Rainfall data from long weather station.
  • Variable cost data was also collected fom farmers and extension staff for cost benefit analysis to be shared with Bekele ASAP after its compiled in an exel sheet
  • Data for canopy cover was not collected because of lack of the equipment to measure canopy and Leaf area Index. The PI should consider the option of purchasing the equipment for future field data collection trips.

Day 5: Meetings Bekele Kotu (Economist IITA)

  • Met with the AR Economist to discuss on the way forward with economic data collected on the demo plots in babati on forages.
  • Bekele shared the presentation on work on Cost benefit analysis and cost effective technologies he prepared for the West Africa group.
  • He made reccomendations on the important data that needs to be included in the excel file that needs to be sent to him. He also advised on how to get some costs data that are not easy to get from farmers or are not avlaiable.
  • He advised on the use of key informants in the village to get some costs data as well as using the Baseline data from IFPRI to get variable costs for the various technologies being introduced in the area.

Fischer, Gundula (Social Scientist- IITA) and Per Hillbur (IITA) & Matete Bekunda

  • Met with the new social scientist for AR-IITA who explained on her role in Babati project area.
  • She explained that her focus for now will be to track the impact of Maize coupon farmers in Babati.
  • We sugested the need to also track the farmers who have adopted various forage technologies to get the social impact.
  • This idea was shared with Bekunda who welcomed the idea and emphasied on the need of project staff to bring on the table how they think is best to track certain impacts.
  • Therefore, village extension staff were given a template to collect data on all farmers that have benefited from the forages component for easy tracking. The template includes,farmer name, gender, age, type of technology adopted, the type of nitch planted if forages and area cultivated plus the GPS coordinates.
  • It was agreed in the training with extension staff that the data should be ready by 4th May. David Ngunda is in charge to follow up on the data.
  • There is an MSc Student from Wangenhen university working with Gundula looking at adoption of AR technologies. It will be nice if he could look at one of the forages technologies.

Follow up actions

  1. Extension staff in all the six villages to share information on farmers who have benefited or are involved with the forages component.
  2. David Ngunga to follow up on extension staff and insure that the data is collected and on time.
  3. David Ngunga to finalize and make corrections to the farmer profile questionnaire so that data collection can commence as soon as possible.
  4. It was agreed with all village extension staff that Farmer profile data be collected and ready for data entry in Nairobi by end of May 2015.
  5. David Chalamira (Matufa Extension staff ) to share costs of constructing a 3X6 storage facility for forages made from poles as well as that made of blocks (Thatch and Iron sheets) end of May 2015
  6. It was also agreed that replanting and gape filling in all sites be completed by 1st May so that standardization can be done after six weeks from 1st may which is around mid-June 2015 in all villages considering that the rains continue pouring.
  7. Data collection in old plots will be conducted in Mid-June during standardization of the new plots.

Conclusions reached/Report Summary

  • Generally the trip went as planned though we had a problem with transport. A more sustainable transport arrangement should be devised to avoid issues of transport stressing staff in the field.
  • The collaboration between CIAT, IITA and ILRI staff is working very well and it would be nice if other partners came on board and that would solve small problems such as transport and integration will be sustainable.
  • The drought in the beginning of the rain season has affected most of the plots as outlined in David’s establishment report.
  • CIAT was very understanding and provided transport for the field work on short notice.