Field agents trained in Niger
ICRISAT-HOPE trained sixteen field agents and four farmers in Cluster-based Farmer Field Schools (CBFFS) as well as on important management aspects of pearl millet production in Bokki, Niger, in March 2010. Participants hailed from extension services, the Spanish section of the international NGO ACH (Action against Hunger), and farmer organizations Mooriben and FUMA-Gaskiya.
Participants were introduced to the CBFFS system and the differences between and similarities with the conventional Farmer Field School approach were discussed. This included the different steps for implementing CBFFS and planning activities during the season. The training also
focused on biology and control of purple witchweed (Striga hermonthica) and millet head miner (Heliocheilus albipunctella). Options for mitigating and controlling these biological constraints as well as improvement of soil fertility
were discussed in detail.
Mr Tahirou Boye, Dr Tom van Mourik and Mr Sidi Toure (FFS consultant) served as facilitators, aided by scientists and technicians from both ICRISAT and
INRAN. At the end, the participants felt well prepared to start the process of implementing the CBFFS system in their respective sites. As part of the project activities, the farmer organizations will install several CBFFS in Niger during the 2010 rainy season with technical backstopping from ICRISAT and INRAN.