Climate Adaption Farm
The farms in Obomkpa and Ukwu-Nzu measure approximately two hectares each and are located at coordinates Lat. 6.40541 and Long. 6,50465 for Obomkpa while Ukwu-Nzu is Lat. 6.38559 and Long. 6,48219.
Activities started with a brief community entry where stakeholders were sensitized on the purpose of the Climate Adaptation farms and its rationale. The NEWMAP team promptly made a request for land guided by the provision of the Project Implementation Manual which stipulates that, “The Community has land access or use rights to the intended soil and water conservation zone either individually or severally”.
Four small holder farmers (two men and two women) without gender bias were engaged to oversee the daily activities of the farm. They provided a sub-group of labourers for all farm activities. The youths of both communities were engaged and paid for their daily activities as demanded by the farm.
Small plots were demarcated for sowing preselected crops such as;
- Fluted Pumpkin
The approximate area of such plots was measured so as to ascertain yield per unit area upon which our performance indicators were based.
New improved drought, weed and pest resistant species of Cassava, TME 419, TMS 90257 (Pro-Vit A), Maize, Rice, Yam, Fluted Pumpkin, Plantain, Banana and Cowpea were procured from IITA Ibadan and Nigerian Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike. These were planted against some local species of cassava namely, Sandpaper and Onyeanusi. Outputs were compared based on performance and yield so that farmers are convinced for ease of acceptance and adoption.
Before sowing operation commenced we noticed that the maize in neighbouring farms were being attacked by locust and other forms of diseases which is shown in Fig.1 We had to resort to use of bio-insecticides made from Azadiratter Indica and extracts from Alstonia sp. which we sprayed intermittently on our crops to discourage defoliation by locust.
Bio-fertilizer was made from poultry and goat droppings as well rice husks to serve as extra nitrification of the soil to boost yield. The youths of the community were participants in this activity and made a good effort to learn bio-fertilizer production, both for local use and commercial purposes.
We carried out capacity building in a host of activities as prescribed by the ToR. Capacity building was carried out in the following area and topics;
- Bio-insecticide production
- Organic fertilizer production
- Nursery establishment
- Farm Records and Bookkeeping
- Modern farm practices
- Animal husbandry
The first set of harvest from the farm was from the maize crops. It was indeed a very bountiful harvest. Recall we had improved specie from IITA which included Oba Supers 2, 4 and 6. We also had Obatamkpa, Suwan-1-Sr and Oba Super 98. From these we got a yield of about 1.35kg per square meter amounting to about 13.5tons per hectare. The result would have been better but for some localized attack from locust and other pest. Comparatively from neighboring farms, the farmers got an average of 7.8 metric tons per hectare and we believe it would have come up to 8.5 metric tons per hectare if not for the locust attack as seen from fig.1
This was our first success story, proving to the stakeholders and participants that improved species will do better than what they have. They have since kept the stock of improved grains that they have for the follow up season. We shall attempt to highlight our success stories in a closing chapter with pictures to show the achievement of NEMAP in the communities where Climate Change activities were carried out.