Cropping guides get a boost
ASHC, together with IITA and other partners, has been working on an integrated soils fertility management (ISFM) banana/coffee systems cropping guide
This manual, published in draft, is designed for use by the extension workers in advising farmers on various aspects related to coffee and banana farming systems. It is one of a series of guide cover sorghum & millet, rice, cassava and maize/legumes.
Ease of use, adequacy of the content and ease to navigate through the guide to retrieve information to guide a farmer is an important aspect for any guide to gunner acceptance by a wider audience.
On 17 April 2015 ASHC reviewed the guide at a workshop at Grand Imperial Kampalato see how it could be improved ahead of publication of the final version.
Harrison Rware from CABI said: “There was great enthusiasm amongst the people attending the workshop to get the agreed revision made to the Coffee Banana cropping guide as quickly as possible. This is so that they can start using in field and think about reworking the content into farmer-friendly training materials and leaflets. It was really encouraging to see so much enthusiasm. There was a strong feeling that the material in the guide served mono-cropping as well as intercrops of coffee banana, this extends the reach of the guide considerably. Suggestions for improvements to the guides were practical, actionable and are now largely in hand. Whilst this workshop looked at just one guide there are many helpful suggestions we can apply to the series.”
ASHC, together with IITA and other partners, has been working on a banana and coffee systems cropping guide which is based on an integrated soils fertility management (ISFM) approach.
This guide, currently published as a draft which is available on the ASHC website, is designed for use by extension workers to help them advise farmers on various aspects related to growing coffee and banana together.
Ease of use, adequacy of the content and ease to navigate through the guide to retrieve information to guide a farmer are all important aspects for any guide.
On 17 April 2015 ASHC reviewed the guide at a workshop held at the Grand Imperial Hotel, Kampala. The objective was to see how it could be improved ahead of publication of the final version.
Participants for the workshop were drawn from NARO, government extension and private companies engaged in agricultural production, and the key parastatals in the coffee and banana industry, especially NACORI and UCDA.
The groups were asked to quickly list the type of information that would be needed for banana-coffee intercrop systems for extension workers to advice farmers. The group observed that the guide was a good synthesis about coffee banana systems, but went on to suggest areas for improvement and to support integration of the materials by agencies in Uganda.
The overall observation was that the material was currently quite technical for an extension audience; some simplification would be helpful. For those planning to use the book to develop communications material, the participants thought the book is ok the way it is.
Practical suggestion from the workshop included:
- The needs to inform the national steering committee for coffee about the guide
- Link with USAID initiatives
Further development of the guide
- Clear colour-coding of different sections and better indexing
- Better explanation of the diagrams and graphs would be helpful
- Some areas that would benefit from additional information were identified e.g. shade trees
- Produce visual aids to support farmers training
- Farmer level leaflets would also be useful (and the same group could help with this)