Sun. Sep 15th, 2019

LILONGWE FARMERS IN CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT USING MANURE

Utilizing manure to meet crop nutrient needs

No one feels the effects of climate change quite like farmers in Chiwaya Village in the area of Traditional Authority Malili in Lilongwe

In recent years, these farmers like those in other parts of the country have had challenges to harvest enough due to high degradation of soils chiefly contributed by soil erosion due to floods.

It has also been observed that crop production in the district has drastically reduced due to the erratic rainfall the district is receiving as lands which were reserved for forests and wildlife are now being cultivated thereby altering the rainfall pattern much to the disadvantage of the farmers.

In trying to reserve these climate change effects, government working with communities   has devised ways to adapt.

Mercy Kumitengo is among those striving to bring back the good old days. Kumitengo says the decline in soil fertility is widespread in Malawi and is threatening food security in the country. The use of inorganic fertilizers to improve soil is a way to go.  She, together with her 15 group members decided to manure production.

” The issue is about climate change, the adapt plan project provided us with skills which now give us manure using locally available materials. We use manure in our gardens, we don’t use fertilizer anymore. We have really improved our soil structure,” says Kumitengo.

Mpingwi EPA Agriculture Extension Development Officer (AEDO) Damiano Jacob says local produced manure has brought miracles in his jurisdiction saying hunger now is history adding that it is helping in the climate change adaption process.

He says utilizing manure to meet crop nutrient needs is beneficial for many reasons as it reduces soil erosion if properly managed and that farmers can often save money by properly using pig manure as fertilizer.

The Adapt Plan, a government project with support from UNDP is helping to address climate change effects in local communities through various interventions according to Deputy Director of Environmental Affairs, Michael Makonombera.

Despite some strides, climate change is the challenge of our time; it is still accelerating faster than our efforts to address it. Due to climate change, millions of people in developing countries like Malawi have already suffered loss and damage and have been unable to recuperate their losses.

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