Disseminating Improved Bean Production Management Practices and Technologies and Strengthening Marketing Capabilities
R. Mazur; M. Ugen; N. Bwambale; G. Sebuwufu; D. Nakimbugwe
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A poster presented at the 2012 Global Pulse Researchers Meeting, Kigali, Rwanda- “Transforming Grain-Legume Systems to Enhance Nutrition and Livelihoods”. Abstract: objectives: To disseminate information about improved production and post-harvest technologies and management practices, and to strengthen farmers’ capabilities to increase bean marketing. Methodology: Adaptive research and trainings with farmers focus on critical management practices and technologies: site selection, plant and row spacing, weeding, pest management, harvesting, drying, threshing, moisture testing, sorting and seed selection, solarization, and anaerobic storage. We are also strengthening farmer groups’ understanding of collective marketing opportunities and implementation of their strategic plans. Methods involve training in business management, group dynamics, and gender equity; exposure visits to NaCRRI farms and marketing and seed producing groups in other districts to share knowledge, skills, and successes; and local community-based production and sale of Quality Seed. Results: We provide technical assistance directly to 50+ farmer groups in which most members are women. They are trained and supported in various aspects of collective marketing of beans. This involved: improving farmers’ understanding of market price variation (among traders, markets, and seasons); enhancing their ability to manage harvested grain to obtain increased prices through loss-minimizing storage, negotiation skills, and coordination of collective marketing; and business planning, record keeping, and analysis. Several tons were purchased from project farmers for scaling up. Multiplication gardens and project farmers’ field now are seed source for 300 new farmers. A new value chain stakeholder forum is mentored and supported. Significance: More than 550 farmers are using improved varieties, crop management practices and technologies, with potential to benefit many more in future project activities.