Monday, July 27, 2009

Applying the knowledge gained

This is a story about Mrs Nolia Ngwangwa, a 65 year old woman of Simon village, Traditional Authority Simon in Neno District.

Mrs. Nolia Ngwangwa has this year harvested 40 bags of maize and 14 bags of groundnuts. The secret behind her success is that she applies manure in her garden. She says manure is good for dry soils. With manure, the soil still retains some moisture. She was taught how to make manure by ADRA-Integrated Health and Food Security Project in 2006 and since then, she has been harvesting more than she used to do. Comparatively, she is also harvesting more than some farmers who are not applying manure.

Last year, when others harvested very little or nothing at all, she managed to harvest 20 bags of maize. She also does experiments in her garden. One area of the garden she applies with manure and the other half, she doesn’t. She harvests twice more in the area applied with manure. This has encouraged her to increase the area under manure every year and she hopes to be able to apply manure in the whole garden.

With sales from agricultural produce, she is able to pay school fees for her grand children, she has bought 2 goats and household utensils.

As I was passing through the village last week, I found her cutting maize stalks from last harvest into small pieces and this is how she makes manure: 3 pails of chopped maize stalks mixed with 3 pails of dark soil collected from a tree shed mixed with 3 pails of animal manure and half pail of ashes. The stuff is then mixed with water until the mixture gets stiff and she makes heap. After 4 months, the heap is well decomposed and ready for application. With one heap, she can apply up to 0.25 of a hectare.

Author: Moses Mpezeni - Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (ADRA Malawi)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a story about Mrs Nolia Ngwangwa great story

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