Researcher Diaries: farmers in Cameroon respond to mulching with Tithonia
12.12.2022 The latest Researcher Diary features a post from Gil Rudaz, a BFH-HAFL bachelor’s student in International Agriculture.
In the third week of my bachelor thesis field assignment in Obala, Cameroon, I was already setting up farm trials with farmers.
The aim of these on-farm trials was to observe the effects of mulching using Tithonia diversifolia on maize productivity in farmers’ fields and to gather feedback from smallholder farmers about this technique.
Initially I carried out 32 pre-trial interviews to find interested maize farmers. The farmers organised group meetings where the trial was explained. It was very interesting to see how farmers responded to the new information I shared, to hear their questions and see the discussion between the different farmers about the improvements and difficulties of mulching with Tithonia.
Although communication was not always easy, I learned the most about this topic - its challenges and opportunities - when working with the local farming community. In the next few months, I will follow the trials alongside the farmers, and will hopefully have some further discussions with them about mulching with Tithonia and its effects.
The 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.