We have made a plan to expand safe-farming models to new families. Fortunately, we had a window in Vietnam where there were no COVID cases and we were able to go to the village and identify new farmers with the right conditions to trial growing grafted tomatoes and cucumbers. For training, we were limited on the number of people who could gather together. Normally, we invite anyone who wants to participate to attend the training even if they are not direct beneficiaries, so we can expand the impact of the activities. This time we limited the training to the 20 direct beneficiaries.
We want these families to benefit from planting grafted tomatoes because they resist bacterial wilt, as well as heat and humidity, increasing yield at harvest by 20%. Fruit quality like color, thickness, and firmness are also enhanced. These stronger varieties of plants, can be grown more safely using much less fertilizer, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.
In training, the process of growing tomatoes was explained in detail to the participants including selecting proper seedlings, planting season, soil preparation, fertilization, plant care, pest and disease prevention, and harvesting. Good grafted tomato seedlings were delivered to 12 families and 8 others started with quality seeds.
How to transplant the seedlings and plant seeds was explained right at the field. Participants were eager to plant at the right time for high yields at harvest. When covid restrictions kept us from visiting the fields directly, video calls by smart phone allowed us to continue to provide technical support.
Tomato seedlings provided by [YWAM Mercy] are strong enough to ensure a good harvest at this time. I learned that grafted tomato seedlings, must be planted concentrated together in a place with good humidity to be healthy and rooted before bringing them to the field. I am glad to receive such high quality seedlings.
With the support from YWAM Mercy Vietnam and the local management board, we expect the participants will steer their farming business toward safe and effective methods for stable income generation and environmental protection.