Grabbing a notebook and pen from my bag in the back seat, I asked Esi, the program manager and driver today, to please brief me on the clients from TechnoServe's cotton program she and I were en route to visit. The Mpaka workshop, she told me, is one of the twelve workshops that TechnoServe has nationwide to train farmers on best practice methods of cotton production.
These nationwide workshops are a key part of the program strategy to revive Swaziland's cotton industry. They provide TechnoServe advisors an opportunity to improve the capacity of farmers to succeed in growing cotton by focusing on reducing their cost of production and increasing yields per hectare, two factors over which farmers have relative control.
The goal for the Mpaka workshop was to teach farmers the basics of effective pest control to ensure that farmers were both purchasing the right pesticides to control the pests in their fields and applying pesticides in the most educated and efficient way. By focusing on this topic today, at this stage of the crop's lifecycle, TechnoServe advisors can help farmers control a factor that can improve yields and income by as much as 50%.
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