Lubinda backs local production of organic fertilizers

PRICES of chemical fertilisers can reduce if Zambian farmers begin to produce locally made organic fertilisers, says Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda.

Speaking in Lusaka when he toured Colchi Farms which produces natural fertiliser using chicken manure, Mr Lubinda said organic fertiliser was the best option for growing non-GMO crops.

He said the only challenge was lack of productivity which he said would affect the production of organic fertiliser.

“It would be nice if we can have locally produced organic fertiliser. One of the challenges in Zambia is productivity, our soils have become acidic because of abuse of chemical fertilisers,” he said.

Mr Lubinda commended Colchi Farms management and advised farmers to use organic fertiliser more and more.

Meanwhile, Mr Lubinda said it was a moral duty of every farmer to ensure that enough milk was accessible to all children in Zambia.

He expressed sadness that per capita consumption of milk in Zambia was  only 30 litres per month and 450 million litres per year.

“Now can you imagine that if every child in Zambia was only accessing 30 litres of milk per year and 4 litres per month, then you start worrying about the future generation to have the intelligence to run the country,” he said.

Mr Lubinda observed that if Government allowed the importation of milk to make it abundant in Zambia, then those who invested in it would have no reward for their efforts.

He challenged farmers to suggest ideas on how the shortage of milk in Zambia would be tackled.

“Please give us ideas on how we can improve this because it is our major concern. It is very worrisome to see a number of stunted children due partly to lack of milk,” he said.

And Colchi Farms owner Aaron Chungu said the farm produced 100 percent composed chicken manure called the Chicola which was free of  chemical supplements.

He explained that the Chicola natural fertiliser was cost reflective and drastically reduced the usage of synthetic fertilisers while helping to maintain soil fertility.

He said his farm had engaged the University of Zambia to study the commodity and ensure it was fit for crops.

“We have carried out a lot of studies with the University of Zambia and we are happy that we can now access the market because it was difficult at first,” he said.

Mr Chungu said farmers worldwide were slowly turning to organic fertilisers to produce organically grown crops.