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CAT dares Malawian farmers on soil amendment for better yields

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) is encouraging local farmers on embracing soil amendment initiative for high crops production.

The program comes amid dwindling of poor soil nutrients in local farmers fields.

Mzuzu University Professor Elijah Wanda, a soil scientist recommended soil amendment works at the CAT-NRC Smart Farm located at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)-Natural Resources College (NRC) campus in Lilongwe.

The field learning centre has demonstrated how soil amendment improves soil fertility for maximum production

Speaking in Lilongwe at CAT annual field day at NRC on Thursday, April 6, 2023, Professor Wanda demonstrated how soil amendment works using local materials.

Wanda encourages local farmers to embrace the initiative for better yield.

“This place you see with outstanding yield went through soil amendment after it was not giving any good results despite best crop management. Its easy and manageable as key element is farm lime which is locally available with local manure,” assures Professor Wanda.

CAT Executive Director MacLeod Nkhoma said the organisation is teaching farmers on how to amend the soil in their farms by using organic fertilizers that can be made locally.

“Farmers in the country are experiencing low yields due to soil degradation, hence the need for them to start amending soil and utilize other crop nutrition products which are cheaper than inorganic fertilizers.

“The first time we were farming on this demonstration farm, we discovered that the soils were extremely poor, the soils were totally degraded but we have done soil amendment using soil scientist and the soils have improved and as you can see the yields have come back,” said Nkhoma.

Nkhoma added that farmers will be happy to learn about soil amendment for crop nutrition enhancement.

In her remarks, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s Vice President and also Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) Country Director Candida Nakhumwa lauds CAT for better crop production through improved technology initiated to local farmers.

Nakhumwa therefore disclosed extending program for more farmers to benefit.

She however said the organisation is also focusing on business incubation and commercialization with the aim of motivating farmers to grow a variety of crops that have readily available markets.

Ministry of Agriculture’s Lilongwe ADD representative Sheila Kang’ombe was impressed with CAT work at the site for farmers benefits.

Kang’ombe said the initiative is in line with Malawi 2063 agenda on agriculture productivity and commercialization.

She therefore expressed satisfaction as CAT promoted soil amendments and this aligns with what ministry of agriculture is doing, encouraging famers to adopt the use of compost manure.

CAT annual Field Day brings together Famers from various EPAs across the country in an effort to teach the farmers and also showcase new farming technologies and techniques to maximize their produce.

Under the theme, “Good Soils and Crop Diversification: Catalysts for Increased Agricultural Productivity”, the field day crops including soya beans, groundnuts, bananas, rice, maize, sweet potato, cow pees and among other.

Lloyd M’bwana
Lloyd M’bwana
I'm a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR)'s Environmental Science graduate (Malawi) and UK's ICM Journalism and Media studies scholar. Also University of Malawi (UNIMA) Library Science Scholar. I have been The Malawi Country Manager and duty editor for the Maravi Post since 2019. My duty editor’s job is to ensure that the news is covered properly, that it is delivered on time, and that it is created to the standards set out in the editorial guidelines of the Maravi Post.
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