Day 2 – Reflections from Mauritania, Mozambique and Tanzania + more demos!

In the 1970s and 1980s, Parana State was seeing extreme erosion. When farmers lost their soil, they lost their farms, and began moving to urban areas in large numbers. Conservation Agriculture was a key part of the solution, strongly supported by all levels of government, including Parana State, to stop the desperate migration and increase the productivity of the farms, giving farmers a chance to make a livelihood on their land.

Conservation Agriculture: No plough! Use cover crops (continuous soil cover)! Crop rotation! (No burn! )

Because we didn’t have time to download everything yesterday, we are adding the below demonstration videos and interview videos now in a second posting for Day 2 – and also EMATER’s powerpoint.

No till agriculture in parana state brazil-july 2011 by emater

The interview videos below convey the initial impressions of participants after 2 days of workshop and our visit to the Roik family farm. We ask these questions: 1) What is the current situation of conservation in your country today? 2) What do you feel about what you have seen and learned so far here in Brazil? 3) What do you see as the main challenges for scaling up conservation agriculture in your country?

Interview video - Marietha Owenya, Principal Agriculture Field Officer, Selian Agriculture Research Institute (SARI), TANZANIA – English

Interview video - Magalhaes Miguel, Plant Physiologist, Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique, MOZAMBIQUE - Portugues

Interview video - Mamadou Guye, Secretaire General de l’Association des Usagers du Walo, MAURITANIE - Francais

A note on the knife roller demonstration video we posted in our previous blog: normally the cover crop would be higher. The knife roller “lays down” or “smashes” the cover crop without cutting it, to obtain a slower decomposition and thus retain soil cover for as long as possible, and also to avoid clogging the blade of the Animal Traction Seeder (also featured in our last blog). You can also see a photo of a knife roller in action in a taller cover crop IAPAR’s powerpoint in our Day 3 blog (coming soon!).

As a bonus, we are posting two more demonstration videos – very short – just in case you’ve never seen a “Fitarelli” Manual Jab Seeder or a manual sprayer in action.

Demonstration video: Manual Jab Seeder

Demonstration video: Manual Sprayer

And as an even bigger bonus, we spoke with Ataides Fitarelli (in photo) who joined our workshop. His grandfather Reinaldo invented the first manual jab seeder before traction animals were available. He said, “The jab seeder was much easier to use on the slopes and made the work easier for the smallholder farmers – it helped them to feed themselves. Today, we continue to produce for the smallholder market, the large industries don’t invest in them. We produce about 10,000 jab planters per year and we export our various products – – to more than 50 countries.”