Togo test plots show promise, deliver learning opportunities

April 6, 2015

The demonstration plot in Jesse’s yard in Togo (above) looks strong and healthy. Frederic is reporting some pest issues on the beans, and David and Jesse are working with Frederic to test different homemade insecticides to see what works best.

We reported a couple of weeks ago that termites had destroyed the corn crop at the larger demonstration plot at Komlah’s. The corn has been replanted with varying inputs to test for a solution that will keep the termites out of the corn roots. David and Jesse determined three new approaches to test and sent the farmers a diagram to follow for the replanting. Some rows used manure only, like before. The remaining rows used an equal distribution of the three new approaches: manure mixed with pepper, manure mixed with neem, and finally, manure mixed with pepper, neem and wood ash. We are committed to finding a viable solution that will effectively manage this common garden insect.

These challenges are great learning opportunities to find solutions prior to expanding this program into multiple communities. The problems we are experiencing in these test plots will be similar to problems experienced by farmers throughout West Africa, and the solutions we settle on are likely to be easily accessible by those farmers as well.