Thyolo Farmers Told to Use Manure

Manure helps crops to do better like this - Mkombezi seems to be saying Manure helps crops to do better like this - Mkombezi seems to be saying - pic by Luka Beston

Agriculture authorities in Thyolo have challenged smallholder farmers to diversify crops and embrace the climate smart technologies to maximize the crop harvests amid surge in fertilizer prices in the country.

The council's director of agriculture, environment and natural resources, Jackson Mkombezi, believes that planting different crops, restoring environment and manure use have the potential to enable farmers to be food secure.

Mkombezi admitted that fertilizer prices have gone up globally and farmers need alternatives to enrich their soil like manure.

"If people follow all the technologies that enhance enriching the soils with biomass, then soils will be enriched again. So, farmers are encouraged to grow different types of crops so that the soils should be enriched.

"At the same time, these crops will help these farmers and their families to have different food items that will assist them to have good health," Mkombezi said.

Similarly, the council's, chairperson George Matiya, says time is now to embrace manure making since many cannot afford the fertiliser.

"As you can see here, there are a lot of problems and to get access to different things that can help them get money is not easy. So, encouraging them to make more manure and diversify in different areas will make them to be hunger free," he said.

This came out on Friday during the catchment conservation launch under the theme 'Integrated catchment management, a key to sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, improved live hood and resilience' funded by Self Help Africa.

However, Chairperson for Ndulu Irrigation Scheme Benson Mawila and Fyness Meya of Titukulane Banana Club have asked authorities to find better markets for their Irish and sweet potato, banana, beans and pig farming so as to buy inputs.

For instance, they claimed that vendors buy their Irish potatoes at K10, 000 per 50 Kg bag, an issue that council Chairperson Matiya promised to intervene.

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