Use of local manure key to sustainable food security

Salima, Salima district agriculture development officer (DADO), Titani Maluwa Sunday asked communities in the district to embrace the use of local fertilizer noting that it was key to sustainable food security in the country.

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana), Maluwa said the use of local manure helps farmers reduce spending on purchasing of chemical fertilizers, the money with which could be used for other purposes to improve crop production.

One of the challenges is that farmers are not doing income generating activities and much of their inputs are going into purchasing fertilizer which does not meet their production costs, said the DADO.

He, however, stressed that the use of local fertilizer does not require a lot of resources and it is efficient as it also helps in conserving soil fertility and makes farmers realize high crop yields hence making more profits.

Vaison Chunga, village development committee (VDC) chairperson for group village head Chilanga in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwanza recommended the use of locally made fertilizer saying it improves crop production.

Previously, I could not even harvest more than eight bags of maize since I could not afford to purchase a bag of fertilizer because of high prices but when I was introduced to these local fertilizers, I can now manage to harvest over fifteen bags on the same piece of land, said Chunga.

Assemblies of God Care (AGCARE) projects coordinator, Geoffrey Tamaenda in his sentiments said his project is implementing the use of local fertilizer in the district to make sure that small scale farmers benefit from their farm produce.

A good number of people have adopted the technology whereby they are using cheap inputs for high production, the practice is giving much hope to the country as many farmers are able to sustain their families for more than eight months from the little they are getting from their produce, he said.

Meanwhile, more than five hundred small scale farmers have started using locally made fertilizer with technical advice from AGCARE a development arm of the Malawi Assemblies of God.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA