Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Composting

Nov 23, 2018

Of the many facets of conservation agriculture that we teach and implement, composting is one of the most beneficial. In Malawi each year, people are encouraged to purchase fertilizer for their fields, in preparation for planting their maize. Depending on the size of a field, a person can be spending $25-$50 for this purchase. Compare this with $33 being about minimum wage for a month and you see what kind of an expense this is for people, especially those who don’t have another job besides what they sell from their farms.

Composting can come in many forms and methods, but the basic method we teach uses natural materials (soil/water/grass/chicken manure etc.) that, combined, with some effort over a period of about 8 weeks makes an enriched soil product that can replace and improve on fertilizer. It is less expensive by far as it requires only purchasing a small amount of chicken manure (if purchasing is even needed, as many people raise chickens). And while it requires some hard work and tending too, in the end it gives you a much healthier and natural component to extend the life of the soil and improve plant quality.

This is part of the work of the lead farmers that we have trained for them to take this knowledge on and share it with their communities. We also compost on the Mission as part of our demonstration agriculture plot. It is a simple yet effective tool that can be utilized almost anywhere if it is taught well.

By Ben Hayes