Agriculture worldwide (2024)

Our extensive and practical knowledge in the field of tropical vegetable cultivation and field crops makes us the ideal partner to facilitate knowledge transfer to sector professionals in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). We believe that small holder farmers must have access to (international) agronomic knowledge, skills, information and services to develop responsible and profitable farming practices.

Agriculture worldwide (1)

Who are we?

How do we work?

We stimulate the production of high-value crops like vegetables and potatoes and introduce responsible, profitable and future-proof farming practices. Together we generate sector-specific knowledge, information, recommendations and solutions for farmers and sector professionals through existing knowledge, skills and technologies. To achieve this we stimulate co-innovation with local farmers and advisors in synergy with strategic partners like technology providers, international policy programs, institutes and projects.

What do we do?

We deliver extension programmes, train trainers, design farmer training, and carry out applied research and action research. Together we develop innovations, demonstrations, sector development strategies and roadmaps for research and innovation. We monitor and learn for impact. Technical focal areas: nature-inclusive agriculture (NIA), cover crops, farm systems, social economics, water efficiency and sustainable vegetable intensification.

Agriculture worldwide (2)

Capacity building

We believe that effective learning about future-proof farming practices takes place in the daily context of our target group: agricultural professionals in low and middle-income countries who support and advise smallholder farmers. It’s about ‘seeing is believing’ and ‘learning by doing’. Depending on the possibilities within the project, we develop and deliver online/offline and blended learning trajectories where field visits and assignments are key, as this is where real learning takes place in agriculture.

The capacity building of sector professionals also consists of guiding them to develop innovations and demonstrations and adapt it to the context of the farmer. Finally, to improve the decision making capacity of sector professionals several decision-making tools are developed that assist the sector professional in supporting the smallholder farmer.

Highlighted projects

SEVIA - Africa

SEVIA, Seeds of Expertise for the Vegetable Industry of Africa. In SEVIA Wageningen Plant Research, Rijk Zwaan and East West Seed joint in a public private partnership with the RVO under the FDOV facility. This collaboration was unique because SEVIA combined the potential of improved vegetable varieties and quality seeds with farmer knowledge and skills. Wageningen Plant Research developed strategies and training material for smallholder vegetable farmers across Tanzania and established a demonstration and training farm in Moshi.

Almost 50,000 farmers were trained in the various regions of Tanzania and over 1500 sector professionals received training on the SEVIA farm. The seed companies involved in SEVIA worked on variety development of a few crops and released hybrid and open pollinated varieties on the market and established a market potential for seeds, not only for their own company, but also for the wider seed sector active in Africa.

In SEVIA good seeds and accountable farmer knowledge came together and demonstrated the potential for smallholder vegetable cultivation.

More info:
https://www.sevia-e-learning.biz/

VegImpact - Indonesia

Vegimpact worked on GAP (Good Agricutural Practice) in tropical vegetable cultivation for smallholder farmers. Indonesian vegetable cultivation is challenging because of high pest and disease pressure and irresponsible use of pesticides and fertilizer.

The farmers in Indonesia often grow their crops without rotation, use high levels of Nitrogen fertilizer and frequently apply pesticides without using protective measures. WPR worked on training of trainers on the topics of spraying techniques, pesticide selection, fertilizer calculations, integrated pest management, farm economics, occupational health and seedling raising.

Vegimpact is continued by the project partner Yayasan Bina Tani Sehjatera. YBTS. Some 20.000 farmers were trained in remote areas in Indonesia, Timor, Flores, Lombok, Sumbawa, Maluku and Papua.

  • vegIMPACT - Vegetable production and marketing with impact VegImpact (Vegetable production and marketing with impact) is a project that gives small-scale farmers in Indonesia the knowledge they need to...

More info:
https://www.vegimpact-e-learning.com/

Holland Horti Support (Jordan)

Wageningen Plant Research is the knowledge partner of Advance Consulting in Jordan in various projects.

The Jordanian horticultural sector is confronted with the effects of the conflict in Syria. Because of this crisis, Jordan no longer exports vegetables and fruit by road to markets in Turkey and Russia. The Jordanian farmers seek new export destinations in Europe and in the Gulf states but have difficulty complying with strict regulations related to pesticide residues.

Moreover, Jordan has a serious challenge with water. There is little water in Jordan and current irrigation practices leave room for improvement. All farms use drip irrigation with fertigation.

Wageningen Plant Research is the knowledge partner introducing responsible irrigation practices and fertigation, advanced IPM and raises awareness on Nature Inclusive Agriculture by seeking alternative practices to reduce the use of agrochemicals. With farmers and research partner NARC (National Agricultural Research) we explore practices for farmers to enhance agro ecology, soil health and water saving.

EAT VEG

EAT VEG (Effective Agri-techniques for Vegetables) was a one-year (2022) campaign in Myanmar, focusing primarily on capacity building of agricultural trainers and advisors who in their turn train farmers.The rationale of this campaign is to yield from existing experiences, networks and lessons learned and to focus on knowledge sharing for the purpose of contributing to food security, food safety, nutrition security and production improvement. The interventions included training of trainers, training of key farmers and organizing knowledge
transfer in the communities in informal field events and farm visits. As an important complementary strategy, videos were included for all recommendations and promoted technologies and skills. These were used for online dissemination, of which the website below is one.

For more info, visit https://eat-veg.com/

Action Research

As our approach is pragmatic and highly depends on the context and the availability of resources, action research fits right into that. Action Research is seen as an approach to close the gap between scientific research and the complexity of agriculture and livelihoods, addressing real-world issues such as climate change and narrowing it down to a practical level. It relies on experiential learning as the focus is on learning by doing. It is a pragmatic but systematic approach to performing research in a practical environment and with direct input from farmers and agronomists.

Agriculture worldwide (5)

Besides the purpose of systematically assessing specific challenges, action research is an approach that provides additional value in training and communication for both trainees and farmers to raise awareness and to promote analytical thinking and observing.  

Highlighted: PPP Cover Crops - Ghana and Uganda

PPP Cover Crops - Ghana and Uganda

Prototyping Tropical Horticultural Resilience, action research in Ghana and Uganda. Because of limited knowledge and challenging conditions, the farmers depend on the use of chemical fertilizers and they face a structural shortage of cash.

The use of organic manure is expensive and often farmers struggle to obtain an income on the short run and there is little priority for long term sustainability. With the crisis in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East, the prices of energy have increased significantly and inflation is on the rise. Farmers have to consider alternatives for fertilizers and should rely more on nature based solutions, like the use of green manure crops and rotations, as well as the use of compost and animal manure.

The project Prototyping Tropical Horticultural Resilience is carrying out practical research on experimental fields in Ghana and Uganda to validate the use of the various green manure crops, legumes and other supporting crops.

  • Prototyping Tropical Horticulture Resilience This project identifies, tests and disseminates easy accessible nature based solutions with impact using cover crops, green manure, animal manure and...

Tools

Agriculture worldwide (7)

We developed several decision support tools to help sector professionals even more in their advice and support to smallholder farmers. Those tools tackle specific topics that are important in a particular context or might be a bit complicated to do without back-stopping. Therefore, we developed a fertilizer advice tool, a pesticide selection tool, an irrigation app and a farm of the future assessment tool.

For further details or implementation questions regarding our tools, contact Herman de Putter:

  • ing. H (Herman) de Putter Trainer Vegetable Crops in Tropical Countries

Our tools

Fertilizer advise tool - Rwanda and Uganda

For a high productive vegetable crops a good fertilizer strategy is needed. Worldwide laboratories are present that can analyse soil on available nutrients and formulate fertilizer recommendations. However, for smallholder farmers costs of these services are relative high compared to the small plots they utilize. Next to that in many cases logistics of taking the sample and have it send to the lab and receiving the results back are far from optimal.

For both farmers and extension service it is therefore difficult to assess the fertilizer requirements for the crops. As a result farmers apply either too low amounts that will result in depleted soils or overfertilize the soils that will lead to increased costs and environmental pollution.

To assist the extension by developing fertilizer recommendations for smallholder farmers a tool has been developed for Rwanda and in 2024 another one will be available for Uganda. Based on estimated crop productivity, estimated soil fertility for the region and field size nutrient requirement are calculated. Based on the nutrient requirement and the available fertilizers a final crop fertilizer plan can be formulated.

Download the app or use the webbased version:

Pesticide selection tool - Ghana, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Uganda

Many pests and diseases can damage vegetable crops. To prevent this Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is recommended to implement. With IPM farmers learn how to prevent pests and diseases and to use non chemical methods. Also farmers learn to identify pests and diseases and based on this will know which measurement is the best to use. Once all methods are used farmers still want to apply pesticide and for that it is important to identify the pest or disease as well. Many types and brands are available but information about them is limited.

In order to choose the best pesticide the following information is important:

  • Which ones can control the identified pest or disease
  • The active ingredient and mode of action
  • The toxicity of the pesticide
  • Instructions on how to use the product

The Pesticide Selection Tool can be used on a smartphone or as a webbased version. On the smartphone the app functions off-line once the app has been downloaded. The app is available through openasapp.

To help with this choice an app has been developed for different countries. So far Pesticide Selection Tools are developed for Ghana, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Uganda. End of 2024 a version for Jordan will be ready.

Download the app or use the webbased version:

In development

Two more apps are currently being developed:

  • Irrigation app (Jordan)
  • Farm of the Future assessment tool (Jordan)
Agriculture worldwide (2024)
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