- IAPN in Dialogue on Farmer Learning Platforms in Uganda

At the third “IAPN in Dialogue” Christine Kyomugisha of the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) presented in an inspiring lecture the concept of Farmer Learning Platforms, which is used for knowledge transfer to small scale farmers in Uganda.

 

She was a guest at IAPN in September to gain knowledge of applied plant nutrition and specialized methods of soil and plant analysis. During her stay, she also analyzed soil samples from Uganda. Similar to Daniel Olol, who visited IAPN for some weeks last year, Christine Kyomugisha works as “Program officer Crop Productivity Enhancement” within the project “Growth for Uganda”.

 

Her mission is to pass her knowledge on to educators and directly to smallholders in her home country, and to work with them to develop appropriate methods of fertilization for crop plants. Last year, a mobile training truck was equipped. The aim is to help up to 50,000 smallholders in the coming years to increase their harvests and thereby ensure that their families have enough to eat and safeguard or even improve their economic situation. The truck includes a small laboratory for the analysis of mineral plant nutrients in soils and plants. The results provide an important foundation for SAA’s tailor-made fertilizer recommendations.

The Farmer Learning Platforms are a group-based learning approach. They include class room trainings, practical trainings, field demonstrations and field days. In addition, the small farmers receive individual technical support. “We show the way from self-sufficiency to an economically profitable agriculture to the farmers”, said Christine Kyomugisha. “In this way we try to contribute to a more food secure rural Africa.”

Along its research on current questions relating to applied plant nutrition, the IAPN has taken initiative for knowledge transfer, all the way to the people who apply fertilizers. IAPN’s work with the Sasakawa Africa Association has been made possible by K+S KALI GmbH through the “Growth for Uganda” project that they launched with SAA in May 2013.