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(ABiRSD) participated in a Training Workshop Organized by IITA, GIZ and Mount Cameroon National Park in Buea on Establishment and Management Plantain Farm/ Integrated Pest, Diseases and Soil Fertility Management.

(ABiRSD) participated in a Training Workshop Organized by IITA, GIZ and Mount Cameroon National Park in Buea on Establishment and Management Plantain Farm/ Integrated Pest, Diseases and Soil Fertility Management.

 

A four days training workshop organized on the 05-08 /07/2016 in Bova Buea Cameroon. The theme of the workshop was on the establishment and management of plantain farm / integrated pest, diseases, and soil fertility. The workshop was jointly organized by IITA, GIZ and Mount Cameroon National Park. Participants of the workshop involved the Association for Biodiversity Research and Sustainable Development (ABiRSD), Union Farms, Technicians of Delegations of Agriculture and Rural Development, Park attendance and local communities (from West Coast, Muyuka, and Buea).  The first day of the workshop was concern with reception and installation of participants coming from distant areas and preparation of conference hall.  After the registration of participants it was closely followed by an opening prayer. Welcome speeches were made by the chief of Bova and a representative from GIZ. Three presentations were carried out during the first three days of the workshop.

The first presentation was on the establishment and management of a plantain farm. In this presentation participants were drilled on how they could set up their own plantain farms. For this to take place the farmers should know the type of climate and choice of planting period, soil type and site selection, field preparation, planting density, planting materials and staking.

a)      Planting period: Farmers should choose a good period for planting. They should take into account the time of flowering. Farmers should plant at the beginning of raining season when they use suckers and when the soil is very moist for vitro plantlets. You can plant at any time if you can irrigate the land or watering during the dry season.

b)       Soil type and site selection: Plantain is adapted to neutral soils (PH between 6.5 and 7). However the soils should be:

·         Permeable to air and water and rich in organic matter.

·         Accessible for easy transportation.

·         Flat or with gentle slope (?20%) and open or with reduced shade (?30%).

·         The soils of the site should be fertile that is dark in colour and sticky.

c)      Field preparation: this depends on the site and resources available. Manual clearing is preferred than the use of tractors because they remove fertile top soil and compact the soil. If the fallow is cleared, the debris could be placed between two planting lines. Burning is strongly discouraged on the site before or after clearing because they reduce the duration of fertility of the site. After the clearing the land or site is pegged with a rope and meter tape.

d)     Planting density: the choice of the planting density (planting population) is very delicate and affects the state of the farm in future. It depends on the variety, the space available, the richness of the soil and many other factors. For example we can adopt the densities (plant population) in the case of monocropping:

Planting distance

Plant/hectare

Adopted varieties

3mx3m

1111

French type

3mx2m

1666

French type, false horn, Bastard

2,5mx2m

2500

French type, true horn, Bastard

 

e)      Planting materials: It is highly recommended to know properly the variety of materials a farmer wants to cultivate. As such a farmer can plant suckers and seedlings obtained from fragments or vitro plantlets. Planting materials should be healthy at the time of planting regardless of the source. The local varieties include: Brokecaca/Kame, Ebange, Ngomba and Moto. There are four types of suckers namely:

·         The piper (a small sucker that emerges from the soil surface and has scale leaves).

·         The sword (a big sucker with lance shape leaves and a cone with a large base). This is an ideal planting material and is highly recommended for seedlings obtained from stem fragments.

·         The maiden sucker (a large sucker with broad leaves that does not bear any fruit).

·         The water or cabbage sucker (a small sucker with a thin pseudostem, a small bulb, broad leaves that has little or no connection with mother plant cone due to biotic or abiotic factors).

Apart from natural regeneration of suckers by the mother plant, there are rapid multiplication methods that can be used on-farm to enable the farmer to obtain many suckers around the mother stem. The principles of these techniques are based on the suppression of apical dominance observed in plantains. The destruction of the central bud causes the emergence of several lateral buds.  These techniques are:

a.       False decapitation: It is performed on plants aged from 4-6 months. Using a sharp and solid knife, perforate the pseudostem at a height of about 10-15cm from the ground surface. This hole will destroy the apical meristem. After 3-4 months will unable to grow and will produce several suckers that can be removed at the stage of 3-4 leaves.

b.      Complete decapitation: it is achieved on plants that are 4-6 months old. The pseudostem is cut at the height of about 10-15 cm above the ground. The apical bud is destroyed. After 3 to 4 months the plant unable to grow and will generate several suckers. The suckers can be detached once they have 3-4 leaves, clean them and plant.

Removing of suckers: The harvesting of suckers is a very delicate operation. It should be done in such a way to avoid damaging the bulb. To do this we should search around the base of the mother plant so as to locate the connecting area between the suckers and the mother stem. Heavy and sharp object is used to separate and pull out the suckers.  The suckers should be collected from the farms during the 1st and 2nd production cycle to reduce risk of infestation by weevil and nematodes.

Trimming: This is an operation aimed at removing all debris, soil, roots, black, brown or reddish areas on the bulb from the collected suckers. The stem of the clean suckers is whitish without any trace of Weevils and Nematodes. The trimmed suckers should be:

·         Immersed in boiled water still on the fire for 30 seconds.

·         Soaked in a fungicide and insecticide solution and kept in a dry place for 24-48 hours before planting.

 

Improvement of Soil Fertility of Plantain Farm:

The second presentation was to improve soil fertility of plantain farm. This is only necessary when some mineral elements are absent or insufficient in the soil. Organic fertilizations are applied in a plantain farm.

Organic fertilizer Application:

Plantain respond positive to organic manures. The importance of organic materials is to allow soil to have:

·         Good permeability of air and water

·         Good retention capacity of water and nutrients

·         Good decomposition of residue in nutrients

Organic components recommend for plantain: Manure, compost, Green manure and fowl droppings. As such these components can be applied 3 or 4 times per year in plantain farm. Also the application of green manure such as Tithonia diversifolia commonly called sunflower is very effective in improving soil fertility in a plantain farm. In order to apply Tithonia, the young stem and green leaves of Tithonia is harvested and cut into small pieces and spread at least 2kg in a ring at 30-50 cm round the plantain stem.

In the case of fowl droppings, 2kg of fowl droppings should be spread round a plantain stem at a ring of 30-50cm round the plantain stem after 3 months.

Pests and Diseases Management:

The third presentation was on Pest and diseases Management. Pest management constitutes the handling of Weevils and Nematodes. Weevil is the main plantain pests which attacks and destroy the bulb causing the plantain to fall. To remedy this situation, the following should be done: Trimming and pelleting, Trapping, use of pheromones, hybrid varieties, Entomopathogenic fungus, extracts of certain plants. Nematode is another pest which feeds on roots of plants and causes the plant to die and falls off. This situation could be remedy by the use of vitro plantlets, proper trimming of suckers to remove roots and treat them using boil water or insecticides.

Disease Management constitutes basically fungal diseases (Sigatoka, Cigiar end) and viral diseases (Bunchy top, Banana Streak Virus, Cucumber Mosaic Virus). These diseases could be controlled by the use of healthy seedlings/ suckers that are from an uninfected plant, destruction of diseased plants, elimination of aphid populations that acts as vectors of the virus, watch out for the appearance of symptoms, reinforcement of laws and regulations on the exchange of seedlings by different farms, villages and regions. After the presentations, field activities were carried out at different stages in the field with practical demonstration.

The last day of the workshop was concern with the evaluation of lesson learned during the workshop. The farmers were very happy of what they learned and promise to put it in practice in their respective villages. The knowledge acquired is to be used to improve on income and livelihood in their areas.

                    Participants listing to various presentations made during the workshop

      Preparing a plantain farm                                        Planting of vitro-plant (plantlet)


Posted: 3rd September, 2016 | 258 views

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Head Office 
============================
Office Address: Buea 
Office Numbers: (+237) 675 304 231
Email: info@abirsd.org
Website: www.abirsd.org
============================

President / Chief Executive Officer
Name: Mr. Njumbe Peter Salle
Tel: (+237) 675 304 231
Email : petercoolpetercool@yahoo.co.uk / info@abirsd.org
skype: njumbe.salle
Website: www.abirsd.org

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Contact Us


Head Office 
============================
Office Address: Buea 
Office Numbers: (+237) 675 304 231
Email: info@abirsd.org
Website: www.abirsd.org
============================

President / Chief Executive Officer
Name: Mr. Njumbe Peter Salle
Tel: (+237) 675 304 231
Email : petercoolpetercool@yahoo.co.uk / info@abirsd.org
skype: njumbe.salle
Website: www.abirsd.org

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