Included in this program is improving selections of local vegetable varieties, seed storage methods, as well as new vegetable introductions. There is a great interest locally in receiving high quality vegetable seed that is proven to produce well in the local area, has high market potential, and in learning how to improve current vegetable gardening practices. Included in this program area is the training on the role of vegetables in health and nutrition, food preparation, and storage.
New varieties of fruit and other beneficial trees are being planted to assess their adaptability to Central African soils and climate. Fruit trees are an important resource in extending the growing season. In addition, an example of an ideal “tree garden” plot is being planted and demonstrated to the small farmer to show the potential that exists in raising a variety of trees, beans, and vegetables on one plot of land. The highly valuable and sought after African oil palm will be bred and produced at CEFA in response to the local need for high yielding oil palm plants and for testing out biodiesel possibilities. An arboretum will be established to make seed and seedlings available for distribution. Variety trial plots of reforestation trees will also be planted to find the best species for soil regeneration and fuel-wood. Fruit trees, reforestation trees, oil palm trees, insecticidal trees, and fuel-wood trees will all be made available to small farmers via an on-site nursery.
Experimentation on new crops and on new methods to cultivate field crops are being tested and demonstrated. This is especially important because subsistence farmers cannot risk experimenting with unproven techniques or crops as their families are counting on what the family fields produce for their daily food needs. An example of this will be testing out new cassava varieties that are higher in protein and vitamins than the varieties currently grown in C.A.R.. Once tested, the best varieties will be shared with partner farmers for on-farm trials then distributed for wider farm trials in selected communities. Another example is conducting a bean (i.e. cowpea) variety trial of more than twenty varieties from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria; testing them for yield, disease resistance and planting dates.
Please contact us at:
c/o Byron Miller
30W098 Willow Lane
Warrenville, IL 60555‐1022
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Helping Central Africans Achieve Food Security Through Agriculture