Spreading the word on the FOT in Uganda
7 December 2015
Christine Alokit from CABI Uganda has been working with the OFRA team to raise awareness of the Fertilizer Optimisation Tool.
Christine writes: “We wanted to get messages out to farmers about the opportunities presented by the Fertilizer Optimization Tool (FOT). This is a different way of presenting fertilizer recommendations to resource-constrained smallholder farmers. It is an approach that really helps ensure that farmers get good profits from even limited investment in fertilizer. Farmers provide answers to a series of questions on crop choices and the funds are available to invest. These are typed into a computer to generate guidance on how to get the best return on fertilizer investment.
The FOT is being developed as part of the AGRA-funded OFRA project.
The OFRA team delivering FOT training
In Uganda we are lucky. There is a strong interest in agricultural issues by the media and they positively target farmers to extend the readership of newspapers though the inclusion of farming supplements.
So, we invited the key print media houses that usually report on farming issues and briefed them about the OFRA and FOT. Kaizzi made a presentation with lots of explanations of the soil chemistry and practical demonstrations of the FOT in action.
Kaizzi is the regional OFRA coordinator based at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). Fredrick Bbosa, a former extension officer trained under NAADS on FOT application was also on hand. He used the FOT to decide on his fertilizer investment on his own farm as well as using the tool to support other famers in their decision-making process.
After the briefing we organized a field trip for the media team to interact with Community Knowledge Workers under the Grameen Foundation Uganda programs and some farmers who they had advised.
The first media articles have been published. We are receiving calls from farmers requesting for more information on the FOT. It is good to see that the media can be used to generate awareness and interest. We now have the challenge of how we make the FOT practically available in Uganda.”
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