MALAWI: Manufacturing Chinkhunzi and Mbeya Manure

The National Smallholder Farmers\’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) hosted training in the manufacture of chinkhunzi and mbeya manure for the Kalumbu\’s Rural Women\’s Assembly (RWA).

Jim Phiri, extension development officer from NASFAM, says NASFAM is promoting chinkhunzi and mbeya fertilizers since it is more more economical, the components are easily accessible locally and it is dependable.

Phiri advised the women to switch to using chinkhunzi and mbeya fertilizers since artificial fertilizers are so expensive. Phiri adds that chinkhunzi and mbeya fertilizers have a number of other benefits for farmers which includes remedying excessive witchweed infestation and degradation and increasing organic matter content in the soil.

The training was practical in nature and the women learnt how to produce their own organic fertilizers. The women were encouraged to teach others how to do the same. Chairperson of RWA Malawi, Alice Kachere, adds that the training also promotes agroecology, which is a critical climate change mitigation measure.

\”The training will increase the harvest helping to end hunger. We can create five bags of chinkhunzi and mbeya fertilizers by combining animal manure, ashes and maize brane with 50 kg of commercial fertilizer and performs identically to the fertilizer we have been using for years,\” Kachere says.

One of the training participants, Catherine Sinkeleya, from Kalumbu in Lilongwe says many women are unaware that they can make these types of fertilizers at home. Sinkeleya says chemical fertilizers are now pricey so the training is really beneficial to small holder farmers because their capital leaves much to be desired in terms of fertilizer expenses. \”Since we would be using locally accessible resources there is no need for us to complain,\” Sinkeleya says. She urged the Rural Women Assembly to also invite local entrepreneurs so that they can gain valuable knowledge.

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