Plant Husbandry

UNDERSTANDING CROP HUSBANDRY

Learning objectives

  1. To equip farmers with knowledge, techniques and skill so as to improve crop production practices.

  2. To impart to farmers knowledge, principles and techniques on insect pests, diseases and their control.

  3. To enable the farmers understand the importance of records on their farms.

  4. to enable the farmers understand the importance of crops in integrated farming systems

  5. To introduce to the farmers the principles and techniques of raising, harvesting, marketing, handling etc. of new crops.

Understanding crop husbandry:
Crop husbandry is a combination of different cropping patterns and management practices to reduce weeds, disease and pest problems to ensure maximum yields.

In this manual emphasis has been put on strategies that are environmentally friendly, not harmful to the user / farmer and the consumer.

Therefore, an integrated approach to crop management is employed reducing as much as possible the use of chemical / artificial / synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Crops are managed right from seed selection to harvesting storage and marketing  

NATURAL PESTICIDES: INTERGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a systematic combination of different cultural, chemical, biological, physical and hygienic means to reduce pests below economic threshold level (the pest level at which it has to be controlled for economic reasons). Economically and ecologically appropriate and sustainable methods should be used at pre and post harvesting time. Integrated pest management involves different agronomic and plant protection measures in order to protect or minimize the occurrence of pests and disease causing organisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi so as to secure sustainable yields. For any control measure to be successful it’s necessary to meet a thorough understanding of the nature and consequences of the damage caused. This is necessary to be able to make a rational decision whether or not it is economical to embark on control.

Traditionally, methods of pest control have been divided into three main categories depending on the damages caused and the types of pests which involve chewing pests, sucking pests, and stinging pests.

Category:

1. Cultural and legislative (quarantine)

2. Plant derived chemicals and

3. Prevention.

Common plants for natural pest control include; Mexican Marigold, onions, tobacco, phytoraca Spp, Tephrosia, Garlic, Chili, Wood ash, Red paper, wondering jew, etc. With this knowledge a small scale farmer can do serious farming without huge economic disturbances, that are likely to be caused by the above pests.

AGROFORESTRY

It is a land use system which enables the production of trees, crops and livestock together on a given unit of land.

N.B: Good agro-forestry trees are characterized in the following ways: -

  • Light open crown

  • Nitrogen fixing

  • Re-sprouts quickly after pruning

  • Deep tap root.

  • Shallow lateral roots

  • Resistant to drought

  • Fodder and forage provision

Near the nursery, a mother garden for Clonal coffee has been established for production of Clonal coffee seedlings.