AAPI demonstrations are carried out to show the advantages of an improved practice as compared to "traditional farmer practice". They provide the evidence that the improved practice can be successfully applied under the conditions faced by farmers in their own farming operations.
Objectives of all field demonstrations
To demonstrate the impacts of AAPI technology on food security and income generation.
To motivate farmers to adopt AAPI technology.
FMOs must keep a register for each and every demonstration that itemizes dates and data for every action taken in the demonstration, labor, costs and results.
FMOs must use the formats provided to record all results of every demonstration.
FMOs must submit a written report of any demonstrations that are damaged or lost, stating the type and cause of damage.
Principles guiding the quality and success of demonstration plots:
Know the Audience/Farming Community for which the demonstration is carried out (their needs, interest, services, economic condition, education, attitude, beliefs etc.)
Establish the Demonstration's Objectives.
Keep the Demonstration Simple (one thing at a time).
Have control over the Demonstration (visit the plot regularly).
Pre-Test the Demonstration (how has it performed in other places).
Involve Local Leadership (co-opt participation and support from community leaders, elites and influential people).
Maximize Direct Experience (involve the local farmers in the demonstration).
Make the Demonstration Easy to see (near road side).
Promote the Demonstration (hold meetings, erect signboards, display photos etc).
Use Multiple Media Channels (TV, Radio, and Newspaper).
Harvest the Demonstration together with Farmers.
Follow Up and Sell the results (press report, meetings etc).
Build cooperative Linkages with different Organization/agencies/Groups (DAE, Research, Dealers, manufacturers, etc).
The demo place should be in an open field, on plain/level land with a good drainage system and irrigation as required for each season. The land (terrain, soil) should be typical of the land used for the crop in the area. The plots for demonstration should be in a conspicuous place, near the road, away from shade of trees, without pollution from runoff, and near to a place to accommodate mass (80-100 persons) assembly (for field days).
2. Farmers Selection:
The demo farmers should be progressive farmers. They should have their own land and ready to follow the guide lines and advice on the technology. They should also be cooperative and ready to adopt a new technology. Unusual rich farmers should be excluded. Look for and give preference to women farmers. All farmers must be practicing farmers (farmers who actually work in field).
3. Land preparation:
The land should be well ploughed, puddled and leveled. Bunds around the main plot of 400 m2 should be prepared soon after the first ploughing. Fertilizers should be applied, preferably, after bunds are built but before the second ploughing or other tillage operations. Another bund will be built to divide the main plot into two halves of 200 m2 each after incorporation of the basal dose of fertilizer.
4. Fertilizer Use:
The basal dose of fertilizers, as computed from the guidelines of BRRI Rice production Manual 2007/Fertilizer Recommendation Guide 2005 (based on AEZ- 11, 12, 13 and 18) will be provided by AAPI officials.
The plot will be divided into two sub-plots for USG (200 m2) and prilled urea (PU) (200 m2). In the PU plot, the nitrogen doses and application method will be as per best practice recommendation. In the USG plot, one 1.8 gram USG briquette will be applied at 5-7 days after transplanting (DAT) at the centre of each four hills at 7-10 cm. soil depth.
Other fertilizers (P K S and Zn) for both treatments will be applied at final land preparation as recommended doses.
The USG treatment is the technology to be demonstrated, The PU treatment as per recommended best practice will act as a control plot.
The Field Monitoring Officer (FMO) will keep a watchful observation and maintain records about the frequency of chemical and/ or organic fertilizers applied by the farmers on different dates and the area to which the products were applied.
5. Intercultural operation:
All intercultural operations must be recorded by the FMO in the field book. Dates, inputs, including labor must be accurately recorded.
Soil moisture status should be monitored regularly. Irrigation should be given as and when required but excess irrigation should be avoided. Outer (20 cm.) and inner (15 cm.) plot bunds should be properly maintained, so as to prevent drain out or inflow of outside water that washes nutrients.
Weeding- Since there would be less weed infestation in the USG plot, farmers can weed in the control plot of farmers practice as and when they desire. Weeding in the USG plot, if required, should be initiated one month after USG application.
In case of any necessity to enter into the plot, avoid walking along the lines where USG was placed.
Pest Control- Farmers should be encouraged to follow the IPM approach including the use of perching, light traps, net sweeping, etc. Chemicals should only be used as means of last resort.
6. Supervision and Monitoring
Constant supervision in the demonstration plots should be ensured to address any problem. Always consult local or project specialists to confirm actions. The progress of development at different stages of crop growth should be monitored regularly. All information should be noted in the register.
The crop should be harvested when 80% of the grain is ripe or the flag leaves turn yellow. The following steps should be followed in harvesting of demonstration plots:
Two samples are to be harvested from two locations in each plot of the demonstration.
In each location the crop cut (sample) area should measure 5 x 2 meters size having 250 hills per harvest sample area. Count the number of hills and note in the register.
Harvesting area should be selected from an average growth area but not the best portion of the field.
Two harvest samples of size 5x2 meters should be harvested from the prilled urea treatment and two from the USG treatment.
Four plants (hills) from three locations of average growth outside the individual harvest sample area are sampled for yield component sets.
Yield component data viz, number of panicles/hills in the harvested area, weight of clean paddy and moisture content of the grain should be recorded. Actual yield is calculated at 14% moisture.
If grain moisture cannot be measured on site, samples should be sent to the nearest AAPI project zone office for measuring the moisture content after taking the wet weight immediately after harvesting.
Before final selection, FMOs should visit the plot and farmer personally.
Demonstration plots should be selected very close to the road but not adjacent to the road.
Always use a measuring tape to assess the field size (400 sqm). Do not depend on farmers/SAAOs statement.
At the time of transplantation and fertilization FMOs must be present. Do not depend on SAAOs only.
Farmers plot boundary (original) should not be the demo layout boundary.
In each demo sub-plots, a new straight line boundary should be made.
During transplantation, to manage the proper number of hills and straight lines, 3 marker lines should be transplanted initially (see figure below).
In each 400m2 demonstration plot (5,000+5,000 =10,000) 10,000 hills should be ensured.
The field boundary should be high enough to avoid over flooding from the adjacent plot.
Over flooding should be avoided during seedling establishment period.
Weeding should be discouraged within 1 week after placement of urea.
Lines should be straight and complete. No broken/partial line is allowed in the demo plot.