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Use of manure becoming more popular among farmers in Thyolo

By Brenda Nkosi

Dauglas Moffati, District Commissioner for Thyolo

Thyolo, November 30, Mana: With the rising prices of fertilizer, which is currently around k75,000 from k22,000 last year farming season, most farmers are taking manure usage more seriously.

Agriculture Extension Development Coordinator (AEDC) Cuthberity Naphiyo said this on Tuesday during a training workshop of Extension Workers from Thyolo on Soil and Water Measures under the Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Program (CS-EPWP).

“The rising cost of fertilizer has forced farmers to search for its alternative which is manure application. Most community members are now applying manure compared to previous years due to its affordability,” said Naphiyo.

She said it was unfortunate that farmers had always viewed fertilizer as a replacement of manure when there a lot of benefits in it.

“With the ever increasing cost of chemical fertilizers, proper use of manures is becoming more important as it not only supply plant nutrients to the soil but also improve its structure (as OM is added) resulting in higher water and nutrient holding capacity.

“It also increases water storage within the soil profile thus reducing surface runoff and soil erosion. It is one of the best ‘hidden’ water harvesting methods available,” she said.

At an Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) presentation meeting of the Full Council for Thyolo, the district’s District Commissioner, Douglas Moffati urged local leaders to encourage community members to uterise manure in farming.

“With the reduction of the number of AIP beneficiaries for Thyolo from 192, 234 last year to 93, 980 this year, lets us brace the change positively. We need to encourage our farmers to practice manure application. As a district we are blessed with so many cattle and livestock in general, lets make use of them,” he said.

The Chief Agriculture Officer for Thyolo, Mirium Ndhovu in an interview recently said the district has 42, 321 heads of dairy cattle, 539,693 goats, 430 sheep, 464,903 pigs and 2064 Malawi Zebu which is more than enough to be used for manure processing.

The CS-EPWP is a programme under the Social Support for Resilient Livelihoods Project (SSRLP) being implemented by local councils with support from the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) funded by World Bank.


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