Intensifying and diversifying agricultural production

Publié: 18 février 2019
Dernière modification: 20 mars 2019

In Konegummez the availability of fertile land is limited. Farmers are growing vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, cabbage or potatoes. Almost every family owns fruit trees, e.g. apple, apricot, walnut and almond. Harvest is used for family consumptions first and the surplus is stored for the winter.

In 2014, local farmers with support of a project built the first greenhouse (90 m²). The leader and elder of the village were appointed with the responsibility to manage the greenhouse.  The purpose of the construction of this greenhouse was to train local farmers and thereby adapting to negative impacts of climate change. The following year, three more greenhouses were built by farmers on their own.     

On a leased field plot of 33 ha farmers grow fruit trees and vegetables. More than half of the harvest is sold. The plot is irrigated by drip irrigation, what ensures a very low water consumption.

On individual leased rainfed fields, farmers grow wheat by government order. On these plots, the income from farming depends on the level of precipitation and, thus, varies widely from year to year.

In general, over the last 15 years, farmer families have diversified their agricultural production significantly and made it more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change.

Classifications

Catégories
Moyens de subsistance durables
Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Local
Phase de la solution
Mise en oeuvre

Facteurs de réussite

The initial support by an international development project for the greenhouse was very helpful as for providing innovative technology in this area. The management by and worthwhile prove of the greenhouse, as well as different, new forms of vegetables, was a very important factor for farmers gaining trust in the new technology. The successful sale of vegetables and fruit on nearby markets, is an important incentive for farmer families.

Enseignements tirés

Diversifying agricultural production at a larger scale (in this case village level) depends on people interested to try out something new. In the case of Konegummez, the elder and village leader acted as ‘innovator’. This fact combined 2 success factors: (1) willingness to try out new things and (2) having a person as ‘innovator’ who is socially accepted, even better in a higher hierarchical position, as in this case the leader.

For cost-intensive innovations, as the greenhouse, it also seems important that an actor, in this case the international development project, who can provide financial resources, takes the risk related to possible failure. This significantly contributes to poor farmers engaging in innovative technologies.