Organic fertilizer key to food security -experts – Capital Radio Malawi
23 May, 2024

Organic fertilizer key to food security -experts

Maize field: Where fertiliser is applied

Agriculture experts are suggesting that there is need to promote awareness on usage of organic fertilizer as price hike of the commodity continues to affect local farmers.

This follows a rise in production of locally made Fertizer from natural components such as dung from farm animals among others at a time when the commodity is costing over K100, 000 per bag on the market.

Reacting to this, an advocate for organic fertilizer usage Andrew Nkoloma stressed the need for local farmers to exploit the option of manure which they can easily source.

“It’s unfortunate that we are not exploiting the availability of organic sources of fertilizer. Most farmers have the sources of organic materials which can be used to produce fertilizer near them,” Nkoloma explained

He added that: “Farmers need education on how to make fertilizers so that they can easily access the resource when farming season approaches. It is also very economical as opposed to chemical fertiliser.”

Meanwhile, Tamani Nkhono Mvula has emphasized the need for strict policies that guide the usage of organic fertilizers citing the dangers that may occur if they are not properly applied.

“Government must formulate measures that will help guide local farmers on the usage of the organic fertilizers,” added the agriculturalist.

Government budgeted K117 billion for Affordable Input Program – AIP in the 2023/24 fiscal budget to ensure that farmers have access to fertilizer for the ongoing farming season.

However, despite the presence of the AIP initiative, local farmers suffered from being hit by price hikes of the essential 50 kg bag of Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium and UREA to K85,000 and K84,700 from K71,500 and K70,000 respectively late last year.

The experts argue that Inorganic fertilizers can lead to nutrient imbalances, groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas emissions while organic fertilizers contribute to improved soil health, reduced nutrient leaching, and minimized environmental pollution

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