Case Study 3: Seed spacing for efficient use of inputs

Row planting cowpea. Credit A4I

Row planting cowpea. Credit A4I

Row planting is one of the improved techniques that the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) teaches in Rwanda. Nyiranikubwayo Illuminee is a farmer in the Mukama Sector of Nyagatare District who was trained in best agronomic practices alongside other farmers in her cooperative by the Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO). These approaches include how to properly space seeds for optimum results, as well as how to rotate crops and use fertilisers in a targeted manner. The season following the training, she achieved her best maize crop and sold the 4 tonnes raised on her 2ha plot for CFA12 million (US$1,628).[1]

Aberto Pinto is a member of a group of 500 lead farmers in Mozambique selected by the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) and trained to grow a new improved cassava variety in Murupula. He has a 5ha farm and typically harvests 7 tonnes of cassava per season. Previously he would sell 2 tonnes of his harvest for US$50 per tonne. Through an AGRA-supported programme, IFDC provided him with disease-resistant cassava cuttings free of charge, and trained him in proper plant spacing techniques amongst other practices such as land preparation, soil management and managing or caring for plant cuttings. In the first year he received 510 cuttings, which he planted on 0.6ha at a distribution equivalent to 10,140 seedlings per hectare. From these, he yielded 10 tonnes of tubers. He sold half of his harvest to a beer brewing company, through market linkages fostered by an AGRA-improved value chain, at a price of US$250 per tonne.[2]

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