“You don’t believe me? Just compare the returns!”
Gervasio Mwituria M’anampiu, 52 has a five acre farm in Meru and plants a variety of traditional crops. His yields include: sweet potatoes, beans, groundnuts, bananas, vegetables like Sukuma, spinach.
He is proud of his farms on which he uses irrigation for water. He has two farms. On one, he only uses compost manure; on the other he uses chemical fertiliser.
“I get best produce from the farm on which I use compost manure. Compost manure lasts longer and retains water while the chemical fertiliser takes just a season or even less to get depleted from the soil.”
The results? Better produce from the farm on which he uses compost manure.
Compost lasts longer (3-4 years) and retains water longer while the chemical fertiliser takes just a season or even less to get depleted from the soil. He also says compost manure does not add any acidity to the soil but the fertiliser does thus affecting productivity.
In terms of harvest, Gervasi even says the produce from the land with compost manure weights heavier because it gets adequate nutrients.
“For people to believe, they have to see what I am doing and see the harvest. I can also encourage them to use a portion of their land to practice ecological farming and then compare with the one with fertiliser. Ecological farming is about doing. If you don’t do it, you cannot see it.”.
Gervasio calls for training on compost manure because is better and cheaper. He says people should learn about crops that prevent pests like onions, coriander and “mufangi.”