A winning strategy on the maize farm

Update on the farm

The maize fields have been planted for a couple of months. The rain continues to fall. The stalks are growing to great heights.

After the sale of their harvest, they set aside money for fertilizer for the next growing season. In challenging years they are often choosing between saving the money for fertilizer or using it for food.

A 50 kilogram bag of chemical fertilizer sells at about 20 thousand kwacha, or close to $30.

Driving through the countryside you can easily spot the fields that have not had enough fertilizer. The stalks are shorter and have more yellow in the leaves. In the end, the under fertilized fields will produce smaller harvests.

It is a huge win for this family that has made great decisions setting them up for a prosperous year.

8 comments

    • There are many that don’t use fertilizer in Malawi too. In some locations the ground is so depleted after years and years of the same crop, that they aren’t able to harvest as much. Many of the villages we work with are taught to make their own fertilizer to boost their production. This family has been able to produce more using fertilizer the last few years, and we are very happy about that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is true about most African subsistence farmers who cultivate the same crop over and over again, without ever switching spots or letting the land rejuvenate its nutrients.

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