In Ivory Coast, vegetable production is mainly done in family farms: cultivated on small plots of land, mainly in open fields with very few cultivars and dependent on poorly controlled irrigation systems (manual watering). Yields remain very low and irregular (for example, average yields of tomato are 10 t/ha, and these haven’t increased in the last ten years), while vegetable growing is the agricultural sector using the largest amount of chemical inputs per unit area, with negative impacts on human health and the environment, but also on production costs.
Train Ivorian vegetable producers in better farming practices, supplemented with a modest amount of quality inputs like substrate, hybrid seeds (Rijk Zwaan through Agrifer), quality fertilizer (Van Iperen through Agrifer), substrate (Agrifer), low-tech ABRI’s (Agrifer) to reach higher yields and selling prices of their vegetables. Therefore, the main goal of the project will be to train Ivorian vegetable farmers with better inputs and sustainable agronomic practices so as to increase their incomes and income stability.
At least 240 young commercial vegetable producers have been trained as professional vegetable agronomists and can run a vegetable farm by themselves or be employed by a company.
At least 3.500 vegetable producers have participated in a demonstration and/or field day at the training centre, gaining new knowledge on improved inputs and agricultural practices.
The four participating companies have established a sufficient client base to sustain their sales and support activities after the life of the project.