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Farming ‘God’s way’ eases need for pricey fertilisers

RIFT VALLEY
By KEVIN TUNOI | August 1st 2013

By Kevin Tunoi

Farmers in the North Rift region might soon forget fertiliser woes as they take up a cheaper and less labour intensive farming method.

The technology dubbed ‘Farming God’s Way’ will also enable farmers reap triple-fold without incurring the expenses of synthetic fertiliser.

The new farming method is pegged on three principles that land should not be ploughed, cover vegetation not disturbed and encouraging crop rotation.

‘Farming God’s Way’ encourages farmers to adopt a Bible-based version of conservation agriculture to curb food insecurity in the continent. “This method of farming will help farmers reap abundantly and in the same way enrich the soil by restoring it’s original structure just how God made it,” noted Thomas Chepkonga.

Mr Chepkonga, an agricultural extension officer at AIC Cheptebo Rural Development Centre explained that it is cost effective because it uses resources like compost and mulch.

The technology, originally developed in Zimbabwe, is being fronted over conventional farming as soil acidity owing to over exploitation of fertiliser had damaged the soil micro-organisms thus lowering yield.

“On a demonstration plot we compared the yield from conventional farming and this technology and the farm that used conventional farming methods produces an average of 16 to 22 bags per acre while the other farm yields 40 to 60 bags,” he noted adding that the perennial woes over delay in fertiliser would be wiped out if they embrace the new method.

According to him, with the ever-rising prices of fuel, conventional farming proved expensive which had then forced farmers to opt for small-scale farming. “It has become routine for farmers to plough, harrow and make furrows for planting mechanically which is very expensive but the yield during harvest is low,” Chepkonga pointed out.

Food security

The extension officer explained that ploughing the land exposed the soil to soil erosion.

Joseph Kimeli the rural development centre manager called on the county governments to support the method to ensure there is food security. He mentioned that with mulching, water conservation is improved unlike on bare soil where there is increased evaporation.

“There is no weeding thus cancelling out on the intensity of labour,” explained Kimeli adding there were no cases of crop disease where the technology had been employed.

John Kitilit a small-scale farmer urged his colleagues to embrace new technologies for higher yields.

Other African countries that have embraced the technology are Lesotho and Malawi.

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