With inorganic fertilizers fetching obscene and anti-poor prices, Food and Agriculture Organization-FAO has tipped authorities to invest in conducting proper research on how to improve organic fertilizers, highly billed as a ready intervention to the farmers’ current predicament.
FAO Programs Officer, Louis Amaya made the suggestion during an evaluation workshop on manure making and application campaign currently under implementation in all the country’s eight Agriculture Development Divisions.
Currently, a 50 kilogram bag of commercial fertilizer is going at around K70, 000, too exorbitant for the majority of poor citizens who struggle to afford three meals a day.
Amaya observed that improving the organic manure and disseminating information on its best practices could be beneficial to the farmers and the health of the country’s soil.
Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alfred Mwenifumbo concurred with Amaya that inorganic fertilizers lead to soil degradation if used for a long time.
During the meeting, it was revealed that Kasungu ADD has piled over 450,000 heaps and pits of compost manure which has been applied to 233 hectares of farmland.
The ADD has further achieved over 15,000 heaps of Mbeya manure and over 7,000 litres of liquid manure for its farmers.
Farmers banked on the Affordable Inputs Programme fertilizer but its chaotic organization coupled with suspected corruption have left most of them desperate and hopeless as they are even forced to pay extra amounts besides the required K15000 per bag price.