Some farmers in Rumphi district in the northern region of Malawi, are gradually weaning themselves from chemical fertilisers in preference for manure.
Those who applied organic fertliser, called Mbeya, in their maize fields are looking forward to a bumper harvest.
They credited Mbeya fertliser with reduced cost of farming and doubling up their yield amid harsh effects of climate change and low land holding size.
Mulongoti cooperative member Jane Chihana said: “Since I started applying organic fertiliser in my farm, I have been able to produce 30 baskets of tomatoes and over 30 bags of maize. This has improved the food situation and income at home,” she says.
Instead of buying four bags of fertiliser at K23 000 each, she only spent K5 000 to buy five kilogrammes of Urea and NPK which she mixed with ash and manure to make Mbeya.
“There is no reason for me to continue applying chemical fertiliser in my farm when I can make my own which assures me of a high yield,” she explained.
Mbeya comprises five kilogrammes of Urea or five litres of urine mixed with NPK, 10kg of ash, 20kg of dung, 20kg of maize bran and five litres of water.
Farmers say it improves soil texture, fertility and moisture retention.
Cepeesm project manager John Mulangeni said the organisation encourages use of renewable energy and sustainable management of waste.
He described Mbeya as one way of managing waste efficiently.