24 September 2017
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Monday, 07 August 2017 07:57

Dry spells affect manure production in Shire Valley

Written by  Martin Chiwanda

Nsanje, August 6, 2017: Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division (SVADD) has admitted its failure to meet its target in manure production in the 2016/2017 farming season blaming it on dry spells which hit Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts.

SVADD Program Manager, Ida Mwato, disclosed this in an interview on Friday during the launch of this year’s manure making season saying the production of manure was at 48 percent in the area.

“Last year’s dry spell impacted negatively on our efforts to maximize manure production due to the tough weather patterns Nsanje and Chikwawa districts experienced,” she revealed.

Mwato, however, was quick to say things will not be the same this year as they have started the manure making campaign earlier as efforts are being made to meet their manure production target.

The Program Manager further disclosed that Nsanje and Chikwawa districts which fall under SVADD are making strides in utilization of manure as 70 percent of the district’s hectarage under irrigation farming was applied with manure which are made from livestock waste.

In a separate interview, Gradesi Madson, from the area of Group Village Head Mtema in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Ndamera testified that the application of manure has greatly maximized his crop production unlike the application of fertilizer.

“With the Lower Shire weather pattern, it is difficult for crops to grow when fertilizer is applied as they wither due to the excess heat the area experiences. However, we are able to harvest much after applying manure because it helps to retain moisture which assists in the growth of the crops,” said Madson.

The theme for this year’s manure launch is: Manure Making and Application, livestock and crop diversification key to improved nutrition.

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