This research is geared towards investigating possible means of minimizing the problem of food and energy shortages through the use of the local farmers by introducing basic but essential skills in introductory mechanization and basic agronomic methods and other techniques in their farm sites. This is to produce rice-staple food and bio-fuel (Pure Vegetable Oil; PVO) from jatropha seeds that can be used locally by the people themselves. The research was carried out on the cultivation of rice which is the staple food of Sierra Leone through the use of the traditional method compared with the modern method of the use of machinery such as the tractor to do minimal tillage in the farming site of the farmers. The results of the research showed that the use of introductory mechanization together with some basic modern techniques in rice cultivation resulted to differences in yields with 2.20 t.ha-1 for traditional method and 2.34 tha-1 for modern method at 14% moisture content. However, this might seem to be negligible in terms of yield but there was also some time saved (40 h.ha-1) through the introduction of mechanization. It was also observed that with further use of minimal level of mechanization in rice planting there may be an additional gain of 192 h.ha-1; which is a good time for the farmers to rest, improve their health status and carry out other economic activities. The production of jatropha was seen to be accepted by the farmers by intercropping it with an edible crop. The use of ground nut as intercrop in the cultivation of jatropha was observed to have both agronomic and economic benefits. On the agronomic scale, the intercropped ground nut was observed to improve the soil fertility through the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen and organic matter into the soil. It also helped to suppress weeds, hence reducing the labour cost of weeding and allowing better growth of the jatropha. Economically, the ground nut was able to provide financial benefit of 3,594,500 Le.ha-1. The use of a small electric generator of 6 kW machine in the rural community for rural electrification was observed to be feasible since the farmers can production adequate PVO through the cultivation of 17.1 ha of jatropha which could produce 25500 kgyr-1 of PVO to support the above machine in the community without interrupting their normal food production chain. The research has used the On-Farm Research (OFR) approach where the farmers were also allowed to participate fully in all the activities. The involvement of the farmers in this research (Farmers Participatory Research (FPR) is observed to have some positive results at the end of the exercise both by the farmers and the researcher as learning and teaching processes. Some basic farm techniques and skills used during the research were a positive strategy in which the farm sites were seen as suitable field laboratories for not only the researcher but the farmers as well.

Integrated agricultural technology in food and energy production with small scale farmers at community level in the upland ecology of Sierra Leone / J.b. Tholley ; tutor: M. Fiala ; coordinatore: L. Bodria. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE AGRARIE E AMBIENTALI - PRODUZIONE, TERRITORIO, AGROENERGIA, 2014 Dec 17. ((27. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2014. [10.13130/tholley-josef-bilshan_phd2014-12-17].

Integrated agricultural technology in food and energy production with small scale farmers at community level in the upland ecology of Sierra Leone.

J.B. Tholley
2014

Abstract

This research is geared towards investigating possible means of minimizing the problem of food and energy shortages through the use of the local farmers by introducing basic but essential skills in introductory mechanization and basic agronomic methods and other techniques in their farm sites. This is to produce rice-staple food and bio-fuel (Pure Vegetable Oil; PVO) from jatropha seeds that can be used locally by the people themselves. The research was carried out on the cultivation of rice which is the staple food of Sierra Leone through the use of the traditional method compared with the modern method of the use of machinery such as the tractor to do minimal tillage in the farming site of the farmers. The results of the research showed that the use of introductory mechanization together with some basic modern techniques in rice cultivation resulted to differences in yields with 2.20 t.ha-1 for traditional method and 2.34 tha-1 for modern method at 14% moisture content. However, this might seem to be negligible in terms of yield but there was also some time saved (40 h.ha-1) through the introduction of mechanization. It was also observed that with further use of minimal level of mechanization in rice planting there may be an additional gain of 192 h.ha-1; which is a good time for the farmers to rest, improve their health status and carry out other economic activities. The production of jatropha was seen to be accepted by the farmers by intercropping it with an edible crop. The use of ground nut as intercrop in the cultivation of jatropha was observed to have both agronomic and economic benefits. On the agronomic scale, the intercropped ground nut was observed to improve the soil fertility through the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen and organic matter into the soil. It also helped to suppress weeds, hence reducing the labour cost of weeding and allowing better growth of the jatropha. Economically, the ground nut was able to provide financial benefit of 3,594,500 Le.ha-1. The use of a small electric generator of 6 kW machine in the rural community for rural electrification was observed to be feasible since the farmers can production adequate PVO through the cultivation of 17.1 ha of jatropha which could produce 25500 kgyr-1 of PVO to support the above machine in the community without interrupting their normal food production chain. The research has used the On-Farm Research (OFR) approach where the farmers were also allowed to participate fully in all the activities. The involvement of the farmers in this research (Farmers Participatory Research (FPR) is observed to have some positive results at the end of the exercise both by the farmers and the researcher as learning and teaching processes. Some basic farm techniques and skills used during the research were a positive strategy in which the farm sites were seen as suitable field laboratories for not only the researcher but the farmers as well.
FIALA, MARCO
Introductory mechanisation; basic farm techniques; Farmers Participatory Research (FPR); On-Farm Research (OFR); rural electrification
Settore AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee
Integrated agricultural technology in food and energy production with small scale farmers at community level in the upland ecology of Sierra Leone / J.b. Tholley ; tutor: M. Fiala ; coordinatore: L. Bodria. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE AGRARIE E AMBIENTALI - PRODUZIONE, TERRITORIO, AGROENERGIA, 2014 Dec 17. ((27. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2014. [10.13130/tholley-josef-bilshan_phd2014-12-17].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/251409
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