Highlights of the experiments and demonstrations in the seven country projects
Kenya: The demonstration sites are located in Taita and Embu. The farmer managed demonstration plots are laid with the following treatments; Mijingu (Rock Phosphates), Mavuno Fertilizers, Triple Super phosphate (TSP) and animal manure. In Taita and Embu, the researcher managed experiments are laid with Mavuno fertilizers, animal manure, Bacilus bacteria, Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) and Trichoderma fungi as treatments. All these are being tested for their impact on BGBD both in terms of abundance and diversity.
Uganda: The demonstration sites are located in Nogojje, Sagazi and Kyambogo in Mabira Benchmark site. The experiments and demonstrations are testing the role of below ground Biodiversity as indicators of soil quality for three ecosystem services i.e nutrient acquisition, structure modification and bio control. Below ground biodiversity Uganda project (BGBD) has carried out demonstrations on farmers’ fields in rural areas especially in Sagazi and Mabira forest to increase their awareness on BGBD and help to improve or maintain their importance. This study is aimed at providing information and data that will enrich policy formulation and for out scaling the benefits of below ground biodiversity.
México: The bench mark site is located at the Biosphere Reserve of the “Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz”. Information management and local practices are being used to build the land use historical index (LUHI). Currently, Ex-ante analysis linked with three experimental crops (Palm, Maize and Lilies) is being carried out on BGBD management efficiency and data is being collected for use in quantitative analysis. So far, demonstration sites have been installed and are being monitoring continuously and the results presented in internal meetings for use in the preparation of the second cycle of experimentation. The sites are being monitored using phytopathogenic fungi, nematodes, macro fauna, and mycorrhizal fungi. Physico-chemical data are being analyzed to extract indicator variables. Socio- economic data are also incorporated in the Ex-ante analysis to provide an insight into social and policy interventions that may be required to use BGBD technologies in rural farming systems in the Los Tuxtlas area of Mexico. An economist has been contacted to design the strategy for economic valuation of soil organisms in Mexico.
India: The demonstration sites include Nilgiri Benchmark Area, the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and Karnataka Benchmark Area. Currently, 11 experiments are being carried out and they include: screening of the local AM Fungi isolates for inoculating coffee plants; screening of the local AM Fungi isolates for inoculating chilies; screening of the local isolates for N2–fixation and PO4–soluble microorganisms for inoculating coffee plants; screening of the local isolates of N2–fixing bacteria and PO4–soluble microorganisms for inoculating chili plants; development of a consortium of beneficial micro organisms with AMF; N2–Fixing bacteria and P–solubilizing micro organisms (pot cultures), response of coffee to AM fungi inoculation; N2– and PO4–solubilizing microorganisms under field conditions; response of chilies to AM fungi azotobacter and PO4–solubilizing inoculants under field conditions; response of cowpea to Rhizobium inoculants and PO4–solubilizing micro organisms under field conditions; impact of organic manures and bio fertilizers on BGBD in pulse cropping system; effect of organic manures and inorganic fertilizers on paddy in farmers fields and effect of organic manures and bio fertilizers on the growth of coffee in farmers fields.
Demonstrations of technologies already developed in famer’s field include: demonstrations on enriched compost and vermin-compost preparation–role of soil fauna and microbes in decomposition of organic matter, Azolla application in paddy cultivation and demonstration trials using azotobacter inoculants in ginger cultivation. There are studies on the impact of weeds/local flora on soil properties, micro-flora, nutrient cycling, and pests and diseases management.
Brazil: The demonstrations and experiments are clustered into 10 groups of experiments. The sustainable and replicable management practices for below ground biodiversity (BGBD) conservation have been identified and are being implemented in pilot demonstration sites in representative tropical forest landscapes. They include: (i) Improvement of soil organic matter (SOM), (ii) Soil fertility changes, (iii) Nutrient recycling, (iv) Soil structure as well as use of biological control to increase agricultural production by enhancing soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. All the Brazilian experiments are located in the Benjamin Constant Municipality of Amazonia.