SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGIES REDUCED ALESA’S COST OF MAIZE PRODUCTION
Alesa Mtengula comes from Namoni village of Group Village Headman Namoni, Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa district. She is 56 years old and has 5 daughters and 2 sons. Alesa is a lead farmer under Malawi Zambia (MAZA) project implemented by TAPP with the funding from Development fund of Norway.
Before the project, she was depending on inorganic fertilizer, weeding and banding for maize production. This was resulting in high cost of maize production. Alesa did not realise that manure application and conservational agriculture can reduce the cost of production.
In 2013, she was identified by farmers from his village to be their lead farmer under Malawi Zambia project. As a lead farmer, Alesa attended one week residential training on sustainable agriculture technologies which comprise of manure making, soil and water conservation, conservational agriculture and agro-forestry.
In 2014-2015 growing season, she made 12 standard heaps of manure from different materials including animal dungs. She adopted pit planting on her 0.25 acre plot and mulching on her 0.25 acre plot. She planted DK80C53 on one plot and local maize Mkangala on the other plot. She applied manure as basal dresser at a rate of 20 litters pale in fallows and 2 handfuls per pit. She is anticipating harvesting 2.5 tonnes from a 0.5 acres and this will be enough for her family for the whole year. She said she has saved MK60, 000.00 for a bag of inorganic fertilizer and labour for weeding and banding.
|Alesa in her maize field.|
Currently she has trained 30(18F and 12M) follower farmers on conservation agriculture, pit farming, crop rotation and mixed farming.