Land fertility: Garbage now goldmine for Katsina farmers

 

 

The quest for manure by Katsina farmers is leading them to decomposed garbage, which has now become a goldmine of sort.

Traditionally, in the eve of the rainy season every year, farmers got themselves busy conveying and spreading manure in their farms to improve fertility and yield.

Manure contributes to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients such as nitrogen that are

trapped by bacteria in the soil; higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that

comprises the soil food web.

It is also a product obtained after decomposition of

organic matter which replenishes the soil with essential

elements.

A 68-year-old farmer at Yankara, Faskari LGA, Malam

Usman Sanusi, said compared to what obtained in the

past, population explosion was the main factor

responsible for the high cost of manure/humus these

days.

“About 30 to 40 years ago, farmers were only

concerned about manure from decomposed animal dung,

especially that of goats, sheep and cattle. Those

involved in animal rearing, mostly women gave the

manure to their husbands and neighbours free of charge.

There was enough manure in our neighborhoods because

livestock rearing was part and parcel of our society and

the population was not as much as it is now,’’ he said.

He added that with the proliferation and wider

acceptance of fertilizer among farmers, organic manure

was partly abandoned until in recent years when farmers

realised that the fertility of their farms was gradually

wearing out.

“The farmers are fast demanding for organic manure,

while the number of livestock rearers has significantly

reduced with modernisation, hence, manure is now a

scarce commodity, especially with the growing number

of farmers nowadays. This is now forcing farmers to

look for decomposed garbage to make humus out of it

at a costly rate,” Malam Usman added.

Daily Trust observed that those that are into livestock

are making money from their animal dung, especially that

of sheep, cattle and goats.

Poultry droppings are also gaining farmers’ acceptance

considering they are better manure than cow dung or

other farmyard manure because of its rich nitrogen,

phosphorous and potassium content.

Similarly, decomposed garbage is fast becoming a

lucrative avenue for the locals, who sieve nylons, stones,

metals and other hard substances before  selling the

humus to farmers at a high price.

A livestock rearer in Funtua, Malama Safiya Idris, said

she has been selling manure to farmers in the past 10

years and that she uses the proceeds to buy feeds and

medicine for her animals.

“This year alone, I sold manure generated by my sheep

worth N85,000 and I have been selling it in the past 10

years. Every year, I have a set of farmers that book for

it and sometimes they make advance payment to show

their seriousness; and I use the proceeds to buy animal

feeds and settle their medication expenses,’’ Malama

Safiya said.

Malam Isah mai Itace, another farmer, said it was the

scarcity of animal dung that made the farmers to resort

to the use of decomposed garbage.

“Shortage of animal dung has made the decomposed

garbage inevitable by farmers as the youth are taking

the advantage of it by sieving and preparing it for use in

the farms. Last week we bought humus worth N145,000

which we used in three farms along Zaria road,’’ said

Malam Isah.

He added that though many farmers knew the quality of

manure/humus they are supposed to buy, some bought

dark or burnt sand in the name of manure because

people were becoming so desperate to make money out

of it.

In the search for manure, people are indirectly engaging

in sanitation exercise yearly as garbage areas and

drainages are evacuated to the farms in the eve of the

rainy season, allowing for easy passage of water and

general cleanness of residential areas.

 

(Culled from Daily Trust)

Related posts

Leave a Comment