Researcher Diaries: How mulch impacts crop yield in the tropics – a case study from Bolivia
03.09.2020 In her contribution to the Researcher Diaries series, Laura Kuonen, a BFH-HAFL Master’s Programme student, describes a day ploughing the field in Cochabamba, Bolivia in January 2019.
‘January 10, 2019: Finally, the day has come to prepare the onion field to test several mulching materials from the adjacent shrubs on onion growth and yield parameters. It is challenging to find the right plough; since we do not want to compact the soil, we opt for an ‘animal-driven’ plough. Luckily the farmer living right next to Mollesnejta – Center for Andean Agroforestry in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has arrived with his two oxen to plough the field. Tomorrow we will plant the onion seedlings and then start the field trial, which is part of my master’s thesis. The objective is to assess the potential of the mulching material in onion cropping and to compare it to mineral fertiliser application.’
The project described in the diary was implemented in collaboration with Mollesnejta – Center for Andean Agroforestry and funded by BFH-HAFL, in support for the student’s original research idea.
The new Researcher Diaries series provides photo snapshots and testimonials from researchers and students participating in BFH-HAFL and partner projects in the field all over the world.