Sustainable Agriculture Project Sangthong

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Selection of Crops and Cultivars:

All planting material used in the Demonstration Gardens was selected by the respective project farmer, although SAPS encouraged farmers to think in terms of production of year-round food supply for family consumption, rather than sale per se. SAPS sought out sources of improved cultivars for project farmers as a way of improving local stocks of improved varieties. Project Garden planted between 20 and 50 fruit trees, depending on the area of land and the needs of the particular farmer. Vegetable seed and other planting material was provided jointly through the project and through the surrounding community. The project provided seed only from open pollinating varieties to ensure a long term supply of harvestable seed. In each Demonstration Garden, project farmers planted between 15 and 25 different species and cultivars, varying from fruit trees to vegetables, to herbs, etc. Fruit trees supplied by the project were provided on terms of repayment in kind. Each project farmer received the fruit trees on the understanding that within two years, each fruit tree would be repaid with two trees of the same variety, which could in turn be given to the poorest families in the community, as selected by community members. This system provided several benefits:

  • the project farmer received improved cultivars without the outlay of cash at any time, which is a scarce resource
  • the project farmer was given a specific goal for the practicing grafting and plant propagation techniques which were taught by the project
  • cost effectiveness and exponential impact—resources supplied by the project were ensured of multiplication- every tree given results in three trees supplied to the community
  • provision of fruit trees for the poorest segment of the community
demonstration- community members able to witness the productive benefit of grafting and plant propagation techniques.


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