Farming practicePush-Pull in practice

How to establish push-pull fields

UPSCALE partners regularly organize training and demonstration days – Roadshow events – with the aim to train the farmers and provide more information on the benefits and implementation of the Push-Pull technology. These take place on already established climate-smart push-pull technology demonstration plots in East Africa. Learn how you can also get onboard and establish a PPT field!

The push–pull technology (PPT) has widely been disseminated by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) to control insect fall armyworm, stemborers (Busseola fusca and Chilo partellus) and Striga weeds (Striga asiatica and Striga hermonthica) in cereal fields in Western Kenya. Establishment of Climate Smart Push-Pull Technology (PPT) demonstration plot is an important event for disseminating this relatively knowledge intensive technology. Farmers have the opportunity to observe PPT field layout, how planting of desmodium, brachiaria and maize is done, share their experiences with others and most importantly, they have the chance to test and subsequently adopt the demonstrated technology in their own farms.

Dissemination pathways used by icipe includes public meetings (barazas), lead farmer (LF), farmer field schools (FFS), farmer teachers (FT), field days (FD), fellow farmers (FF) and mass media for instance television, radio, printed materials, or a combination of both.

During the exercise, icipe staffs present demonstrated on planting of maize, vegetable, desmodium and brachiaria and also trained farmers on the following.

  1. How Climate-Smart Push-Pull Technology (PPT) controls Fall Army Worm
  2. How PPT controls Striga weed
  3. How PPT controls Stem borers
  4. How PPT improves soil fertility
  5. Why PPT offers quality fodder for livestock from Desmodium and Bracharia or Napier grass.

Field demos is always organized to provide farmers with opportunity to practically learn on how to establish Push-Pull Technology plot and a platform for sharing experience with other stakeholders. On-farm field demonstration learning is not a single event but spreads across all stages of crop development from planting all the way to harvesting which is a continuous scheduled activity.

Objectives/aim of the field demonstration event

  • To create awareness on the benefits of Climate Smart Push-Pull Technology.
  • To provide opportunity for farmers to learn about Climate-Smart Push-Pull Technology to improve their livelihood outcomes.
  • To provide a platform for farmers to practical learn on how to plant and maintain (weeding, trimming) desmodium, brachiaria and maize in PPT plot
  • To foster participatory evaluation of Climate-Smart Push-Pull Technology for subsequent adaptation and application by farmers in their farming practices for positive livelihood changes

During 6th-8th of October, icipe team has visited 3 counties in Kenya: Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga (2 villages: Ebukoloo and Emusutstwi) and delivered training to Odowa Youth Group Farmers, Sinani self-help farmers’ group as well as other non-affiliated farmers interested in learning about PPT first-hand.

Kisumu County

Field demo plot was owned by ODOWA Youth Group leader Lawrence Omino who requested that his plot is integrated with vegetables as this will provide his young family with improved nutrition from vegetables which will mature faster and get harvested continuously. In the case of maize, harvest happens at the end of season. The team obliged with the request and vegetable was integrated into his Push-Pull Technology plot.  Icipe field staff working in Western region and on separate dates established 3 Push-Pull Technology plots for some ODOWA Youth Group members before this event.

Farmers were shown the layout of Push-Pull Technology plot and were practically involved in the whole process from the beginning to the end. UPSCALE brochures were distributed, and farmers were taken through step by step in Dholuo which was their mother tongue. This group was composed of 28 farmers who were present 16 females and 12 males. Only 4 members of this group had Push-Pull Technology (PPT) established plot previously which helped passing on the practical findings and experiences to the rest of the group.

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Vihiga County

In Vihiga County, icipe held training in two villages – Ebukoloo and Emusutswi. During the field demo in Ebukoloo 20 farmers were present out of which 8 farmers were Climate Smart Push-Pull Technology adopters and 12 were non adopters. Among those present 14 farmers were female while male farmers were 6. UPSCALE brochures were distributed, and farmers were taken through step by step in Swahili language as there were mixture of different tribes though majority were from Luhya tribe.

Emusutswi farmers who were present during the event were 38 farmers, 16 were Push-Pull farmers while 22 farmers were non-adopters. Out of these farmers, 13 were male while 25 were female. The training was also held in Swahili.

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Siaya County

Field demo plot which was used during the event was owned by lead farmer Mr Julius Radol Gwada. Of the SINANI Self Group members present during the event, there were 23 farmers out of which 20 were Climate Smart Push-Pull Technology adopters and only 3 members were non-adopters. Among those present 19 farmers were female while male farmers were 4.

Farmers were shown the layout of the Push-Pull Technology plot and were practically involved in the whole process from the beginning to the end. Since part of the farmers were already implementing the PPT, icipe field staff Godfrey Evans explained to the farmers how to advance their current practices and held practical exercises on how maize should be properly placed when planted rather than dropped for effective germination. A well-thought pattern of planting is also essential – it improves efficiency during the maize harvesting period. The training was held in Dholuo language.

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Main Findings

Most farmers requested icipe staff to assist them in establishing Push-Pull Technology plots and they were advised to reach icipe field staff in time when the season is still at prime to avoid late establishment of Push-Pull Technology plots. Establishment of farmers’ PPT demonstration plot should commence early enough, before the seasonal rain in order to enable more farmers to have adequate time to prepare their land for PPT establishment.

How our farmers got onboard and how can YOU join?

icipe field staff Rodgers Oliech met some leaders of ODOWA Youth Group while training some members of Karateng Dairy Goat Association on the benefits of desmodium and brachiaria on milk production. Rodgers made a follow-up of ODOWA Youth Group and organized training of their members on PPT adoption. Farmers in Kisumu were reached by farmer teacher who is actively participating in the region to recruit farmers on Push-Pull Technology. This was a cluster of farmers residing in this village known to host a relatively large number of Push-Pull Technology adopters mostly those who have integrated their PPT plot with vegetables. Farmer teacher reached out to both adopters and non-adopters, identified, and set up a plot in one of the non-adopter farm,s and mobilized farmers in that village and beyond to assemble for the establishment of Climate Smart Push-Pull Plot. Farmer teachers reached these farmers through Short Message Services (SMS) and by word of mouth. In Siaya county, a senior icipe field staff Mr. Isaac Onyango has been having a long relationship and contact with SINANI Self Help Group members that can be traced back to more than ten years ago. Mr. Isaac Onyango ensured that all SINANI members individually own at least one PPT plot. Upon realizing that some of SINANI group members were new and lack the technology, he coordinated with their chairperson who is icipe’s lead farmer who mobilized group members through Short Message Services (SMS) and by word of mouth for the event.

UPSCALE staff is open to your messages and inquiries on how to establish PPT plots and provide training! For farmers in Kenya, contact icipe directly and for Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania get in touch with us through the info@upscale-h2020.eu

 

ICIPE CONTACT:

Thomas Odhiambo Campus, Mbita Point, Homa Bay County, Kenya

Tel: +254(20)8632000

E-mail: icipe@icipe.org

Website: push-pull.net

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