Friday, October 16, 2015

Bangladesh experience

I am in Bangladesh for a few more days teaching organic vegetable production.

Boy was it hot and humid today.  Walking we ALL were sweating, even the locals, so that is hot.
Today I diagnosed problems with bananas, now that was bit edgy.  I know nothing about bananas other than I eat them and they taste good.
We visit farms and then go out into the field to look at potential problems.  The farmer goes straight to his banana field.  There were 20 people standing around.  Oh crap, I am on the spot, what do I do.
The assignment was organic vegetables.  Banana trees are a LONG way from vegetables. 
So I do my, plant diagnostic thing and just looking at the tree and start cutting and looking at tissue.
The whole interior of the tree was dying and had a black cambium layer.  We then cut down the whole tree.  Yes, the whole tree.  We dug up the root system.  The roots were brown ---dead, and the base of the banana tree was rotting.  The tree had a bacterial root rot.  Now they can send a sample to the Bangladesh Ag University  (BAU) plant path department and they can ID the pathogen.
Wah hoo, we figured it out.
Add banana tree to my resume.
We looked at ginger, taro, cumerin, cassava, turmeric, eggplant bushes that are 5 foot tall, and lot of mango.  I have taught two mango pruning classes. Oh right, this is an organic vegetable assignment, not.
People ask a lot of questions when we show up.  They get excited when they learn they can DOUBLE their production of most crops.
Compost - for fertility has been huge.  The farmers don't know how to compost, they just put the manure out in the field and all of the good nut walking - a lot of nutrients just go away in the sun.

Traffic, all they do is honk their horns.  On a two lane road, you people, motor cycles, rick shaws, cars, and trucks and buses going one way and that many things on the other side.
Wild times.

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