Organic fertilisers save money

Organic fertilisers save money

Callisto Nhamo (32), a youth from Nhamo village in Bikita, Masvingo province says after spending eight years working in towns, he resolved to go back home to start farming projects and he is now practising Agroecology after attending a training workshop organised by PELUM Zimbabwe member, SCOPE Zimbabwe. Photo: PELUM ZWE

By Calisto Nhamo

When I completed my secondary school, I was like many youths who grow up in rural areas, eager to leave my rural home and head for the city, where I would get a good job and make it big in life. So, in 2007 I left my rural home in Bikita and for eight years I worked for different companies in Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo, the three biggest cities in Zimbabwe. However, after those eight years of working, I realised that I was not ‘making it big in the city.’

In 2015, with much disappointment, I decided to move back home to establish some farming projects as a way of supporting my family. However, the only farming I knew was the conventional system. I began growing cash crops such as maize, tomatoes and potatoes using synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

This quickly put a big strain on my finances because synthetic fertilisers and hybrid seeds are very expensive. For example, at the shops close to my home, a 50kg bag of Compound D cost US$50 and Topdressing fertiliser costs US$65. I ended up spending money I didn’t have on inputs and could never really make any meaningful profits so I found myself struggling to make a living again.

After seven years of this struggle, I participated in a workshop that was organised by Schools and Colleges Permaculture Programme (SCOPE) Zimbabwe to teach smallholder farmers about agroecology. It was at that workshop that my eyes were opened and I learnt about the problems that arise as a result of applying synthetic fertilisers and chemicals on the soil. I learned that there was another way, a much cheaper and more sustainable way of enhancing the fertility of my soil, by using organic fertilisers.

SCOPE Zimbabwe took us through a training on making these organic fertilisers and after the training, I was very inspired and made the decision to start practicing agroecology. I have been practicing Agroecology since that training in October 2022 and I have realised its potential not just in the money I can save by no longer buying synthetic fertilisers and hybrid seed but also in the diversity and quality of my produce.

I want to thank SCOPE Zimbabwe for introducing agroecology methods of food production. I want to practise it on the ground and I want to be an agroecology ambassador in my community.


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