Lots of work has been done to document the role of pulses, their nutritional benefits, improved varieties, traditional diets and farming practices, innovative cropping systems e.g. the doubled up legume technology Sieglinde Snapp introduced in the webinar on pulses last week. However, the impact sometimes remains limited as information is often scattered, presented in a format or language difficult to understand for non-technical people, or simply because the information does not reach those who could most benefit from it.
FAO’s online platform “TECA” (Technologies and Practices for Small Agricultural Producers) addresses this issue by providing practical information about innovative and traditional practices to small holder famers. The TECA team has a long-standing history in assisting partners with the documentation of these practices in a format and language that facilitates their adoption in the field, and guarantees long-term access to these practices through a maintained central repository. At the same time, it is a way of acknowledging and disseminating traditional practices. Technologies available on TECA have all been tested by farmers and have proven to bring positive results and address the challenges faced by farmers today.
For instance, based on the experiences of small holder farmers in Uganda, specifically Mukono (Central region), Kapchorwa (Eastern region) and Masindi (Western region) and in cooperation with Grameen Foundation, the TECA has documented a farmer practice on using Eucalyptus leaves for bean storage (http://teca.fao.org/read/7639). Eucalyptus leaves can be used to store seeds of maize and beans for a longer term, for instance in case seeds are to be stored for the next planting season, because due to the aroma they are less attacked by storage pests. It is a simple, cost effective and safe method of keeping away common storage pests, e.g. weevils, in order to improve storing activities and thus reduce post-harvest losses.
More technologies and practices related to the use of pulses and legumes in agriculture and nutrition that can help rural households to strengthen their livelihoods can be found on TECA:
- Intercropping: http://teca.fao.org/technology/green-manuring-sugarcane-production-soil-improvement-and-water-efficiency-tamil-nadu
- Crop rotation & water use efficiency: http://teca.fao.org/technology/using-residual-soil-moisture-after-monsoon-rice-crop-mung-bean-production-drought-prone
- Post-harvesting/Labour-saving: http://teca.fao.org/technology/labour-saving-technologies-and-practices-manual-and-motorised-cleaning-grains-and-pulses
- Seed priming: http://teca.fao.org/technology/participatory-varietal-selection-improved-chickpea-yield
We invite all organizations that generate knowledge or work with farmers to contact the TECA team to share and promote proven practices! The more “good farmer’s practices” reach farmers in need of improved practices and knowledge around the globe, the more they will contribute to improving farmer’s livelihoods and positively influence their production, income and health.