Farmer innovation: seeder fabrication and uptake of zero tillage in Iraq. Sinan Jalili
Farmer innovation: seeder fabrication and uptake of zero tillage in Iraq Jalili S1, Fathi G1, Fathi Y1, AlRijabo A S2, Piggin C3, Desbiolles J4 1Al Namroud District, Mosul, Ninevah, Iraq 2University of Mosul, Ninevah, Iraq 3International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, Syria 4University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Why change conventional (CC) • more frequent drought Climate changed periods and less rain • more costs and Less Cost changed profits Soil changed • degraded soil structure and fertility due to decreased organic matter
Why zero tillage (ZT)• ZT was first properly introduced to Iraqi farmers through field demonstrations showing better ZT than CC results (2006-2007), and visits to impressive ZT trials in ICARDA in Aleppo, Syria during 2006-07 all under an ACIAR-AusAID project• ZT potential in cutting cost and same or improved yield was decisive
Issue of ZT seeders• the main constraint was the availability of effective and affordable ZT seeders• Indian ZT seeders were affordable but too small (1.8m wide) and prone to breakage• top brand seeders were out of farmers’ reach
Farmer group converting john shearer into ZT• John Shearer is widely used, durable, and has ZT character• tine shanks were cut and Baker boot style openers were adapted to them• cost was 800 US dollars per seeder• modified seeder established ZT demonstration plots for the project In the 2007-08 season• 250 ha of rainfed crops were cropped using the seeder in 2008-09
More Modification by farmer group• two opener prototypes (directly attached to John Shearer tines) and press wheels were manufactured locally• a knife blade for harder soils (rake angle 65°, width 14mm),• a spear head blade for lighter soils (rake angle 45°, width 14mm)• press wheels (25 cm diameter, 3.5 cm width) in gangs of four attached to 4th tool bar of seeder
F i e l d Te sts fol l owe d• depth and width of furrows• backfill percent and distance of soil throw• covering and packing seeds and furrow shaping• rows were seeded, irrigated, and germination observed• modification cost per seeder was US$1250
Seeders in Action 2009-10 • three seeders were modified by farmers • cropping area 1250 hectares • seeding depth 3.5-5 cm and furrow depth 8-10 cm • seed covering in dry soils was complete • seed germination was early and uniform • moisture visibly harvested in furrows
Field Day (20th February 2010)The farmers group held the first ever field day arranged byfarmers in Iraq, where ZT concepts, ZT-CC comparison andmodification kit were presented to fellow farmers
Dissemination to More Farmers• 18 more farmers received conversion kits locally made• original farmers group supervised manufacture and offered field technical support• 5000 hectares total area cropped in 2010-11
New optionsLocally fabricated ZT tine seeder (2.3m) for small farmers
• our group of farmers witnessed challenges• we were introduced to ZT by ICARDA• we saw potential in ZT to cut cost and enhance yield• we comprehended the technology and modified 1 seeder, then 2 more, then helped modify 18 more• a new ZT seeder was manufactured locally• area grew from 250 to 1250 to 5000 ha between 2007 to 2011
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