FERTILIZER CHALLENGE; MALAWI
PROVEN INTERVENTION TO BE DISTRIBUTED
Fertilizer and microdosing technique.
Learn more about the Fertilizer Challenge and why increasing the effective use of fertilizer has the potential to unlock significant crop yield for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
DISTRIBUTION MODEL INNOVATION
Land degradation in the Southern Africa region has substantial environmental, social and economic costs. The majority of Malawians live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. National surveys estimate that crop production accounts for 74 percent of all rural incomes. Unless nutrients are replaced, soils become depleted, causing the yields and crop quality to decline (ICRISAT 2009). However, farmers are often unable to invest in soil nutrients because they are increasingly costly and often inaccessible. Knowledge among smallholder farmers about what inputs to use and how to apply them effectively is limited. Malawian farmers uses a small amount of fertilizer which is applied to only a portion of their land, perpetuating the significant soil nutrient deficiencies leading to low yields.
To address the problem of soil fertility, Patsogolo ndi Ulimi project will increase the yields of smallholder farmers by over 70% and promote a green environment through the promotion of fertilizer microdosing. This is a highly efficient technique that minimizes the application of and over – reliance on chemical fertilizer. It involves the application of small quantities of fertilizer onto or close to the seed.
The project will use an innovative education method of lead farmers approach to distribute the technology to reach farmers. Lead farmers are progressive farmers (community volunteers) in the community that pilot different innovations on their farms while teaching other farmers in the process. One lead farmer has an average of 20 farmers that learn from his farm.
PILOT AND SCALING GOALS
- Recruit 100 lead farmers by the end of year 1
- Reach 2,000 farmers with fertilizer microdosing training by the end of year 1
- Recruit 500 lead farmers by the end of year 5
- Reach 10,000 farmers by the end of year 5
Madalitso Chidumu - Team Lead and Founder
Hope Mpata - Extension Delivery Service Lead
Chimwemwe Mkandawire - Finace Lead