Government optimistic on area specific fertiliser

Post was last updated: October 2, 2019

By Isaac Salima:

Deputy Director in the Department of Land Resources Conservation, Gilbert Kupunda has said the government is optimistic that soil mapping exercise it is conducting to find suitable fertiliser for specific areas would help boost agriculture production.

Kupunda said during the recent agriculture fair where the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in partnership with Story Workshop Education Trust and African Fertilisers and Agri-business Partnership (Afap) showcased progress of the exercise.

“Our assumption was that we had same deficiencies in our soils, which was wrong. We are now producing fertilizers that will solve deficiencies in particular localities. We will have two seasons trying the fertilizers and we are hopeful that it will work,” Kupunda said.

Story Workshop Education Trust is raising awareness to farmers on the project.

Story Workshop Project Officer, Ambele Kayuni said farmers have to adopt new farming practices.

“We want farmers to know fertilisers that respond to their particular areas. We want farmers to know extension workers who can assist them implement best farming practices,” Kayuni said.

The attempts come as agriculture sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 0.2 percentage points in 2019 from 27.3 percent to 27.1 percent.

Despite the shrink, the statistics indicate that agriculture still remains, by far, Malawi’s biggest contributor to the GDP.

The figures show that agriculture’s contribution to the GDP has been slowly declining in the past nine years from 30 percent in 2010 to 27.1 percent this year.

Despite being described as an agro-based economy, Malawi has over the past decades failed to build on the strides in farming to jump-start other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing.

This has resulted in Malawi exporting raw materials without any significant value addition which would have made the country earn forex.

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