Training on integrated Striga management, Mali
From 15 to 18 May, 24 field agents and 6 farmers were trained in the use of cluster based farmer field schools (CBFFS) for integrated striga and soil fertility management (ISSFM) and a range of tools for large scale dissemination of technologies related to sorghum and millet production. Participants were agents of extension services, NGO’s (the Aga Khan Foundation, Catholic relief services, World vision, CARITAS and Save the children), farmer organizations (UACT, ULPC, UMSPCD), Local radios (Jamana and Moutian) and the national research institute Institute d’Economie Rurale (IER).
The training served to introduce the farmer field school approach, the cluster based farmer field school approach, a range of technologies related to ISSFM and several tools for large scale dissemination of technologies. A whole day was spent on watching, understanding and planning the use of video modules for farmer-to-farmer training. The training tried to capitalize on the experiences of collaborators with long experiences and new and future collaborators of ICRISAT, mainly by constituting mixed work groups on a range of themes. Facilitators were Dr. Tom van Mourik, Samuel Guindo (ICRISAT) and Mr. Sidi Toure (FFS consultant of the partner ADC-Sahel).
Taking stock of HOPE project activities within objective 2,
3, and 6 until April 2012, partners in Mali that were present at the training showed to have experimented with, trained and informed over 14.000 farmers. With a strong focus on large scale dissemination and new tools developed (video and radio programs, picture books and small packs with seed of improved varieties and inputs) the ICRISAT-HOPE project is well under way to go far beyond the 15.000 farmers per country planned initially.
The focus for this fourth year of the project is now to reach as many farmers as
possible, determine the number of farmers involved and start to monitor and evaluate the effects of this outreach. New and old partners of ICRISAT used the last day to plan their activities related to farmer field schools, participatory trials and the use of video and radio for large scale training and information exchange. The group is planning to organize a second meeting early 2013 to share experiences with the use of video and other tools for large scale dissemination to deliver feedback, identify new subjects for tool development and take action where needed.