Monitoring and evaluation tools
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Agriculture: Small-scale farmers can overcome challenges through scientific farming practices. Elisabeth is one of the 50 farmers that Timbali is assisting and improving through the transfer of new farming technology. Elisabeth is a tomato and butternut farmer in Limpopo. She was one of the farmers whose soil was in a very bad condition due to planting the same family of crops on the soil for many seasons. Farms around Nwanedi have been infected with various soil born diseases as a result of planting the same family of crop (tomato & butternut) on the same land over and over again. The use of harmful chemicals affect the land negatively by killing all the useful organisms. It is for those reasons that Timbali saw it fit to introduce IPM (Integrated Pest Management) products, which are not only effective in controlling pests and diseases naturally, but also strengthening the immune system of the plant and promote nutrient absorption.
Elisabeth Matshusa (owner of Matshusa farming & trading and chairperson of the Maanda ngau pfana cooperative) was one of the first farmers who was eager to follow our recommendation of buying IPM products. Before planting, she dipped each of the seedlings in Trichoderma, an IPM product that helps to prevent pests like Nematodes and soil born diseases like fusarium.
Three days after applying the Trichoderma on her tomato seedlings she experienced a setback as her water pump broke. She was unable to water her plants regularly for 30 days and counted on her neighbor for help. Due to the fact that she applied Trichoderma, which also helps to develop the roots system, most of her tomato plants showed very little sign of water stress even though they were nearly without water and in temperatures of above 30°C. Those “dry” days resulted in a loss of 30% of her plant population only and today the plants that survived are at a flowering stage. Not only that, but the flower set is very good at 7-9 flowers per branch, which is an indication of a healthy and thriving plant which will eventually lead to a high yield. The plants that survived are in an immaculate condition, especially after a follow-up intervention with the right fertilizers at the right rate as recommended by Timbali.