Self Reliant Agriculture's Demonstration plots at La Universidad Nacional de Piura

Our first full day in Piura started with a late breakfast. I guess the hotel staff was not used to breakfast at 7:30. After a half an hour wait they served us eggs, rolls, and fresh fruit juice. Oscar patiently waited while we ate our breakfast. He filled us in on what was going on.

Carlos showing Richard the elephant grass trials
We met Carlos and Abel at the office and rode over with them to the University where they showed us the demonstration plots. These have several functions. They give the staff a place that they can show the small scale model to farmers, students, and government officials. Showing is always more effective than telling. The plots are also used to evaluate different varieties of plants that can be used on the small family farm. In addition University students can participate in the planting, nourishing, and harvesting of the various crops so that they know how to do it practically not just theoretically.

One of the evaluation plots. The yellow and black things are insect traps.
The crops are doing well and the seeds can be harvested and distributed out to the participating farmers. In some cases like sweet potatos, cuttings are taken to transplant on the farms.
The nursery garden with the compost mixing area in the back.

They have a small nursery garden where they start some of the plants. They are transplanted when they are big and strong enough to go on their own.