GFAR blog

YAP Proposal #75: Commercializing organic fertilizers (Cynthia Chimhanda, Zimbabwe)

agribusiness boom-Organic Manure Promotion

When one wanders through the vibrant produce marketplaces in Harare, Zimbabwe (Mbare and Chikwanha markets), they are greeted by the proliferation of piles of decayed horticultural produce. The value in the dumped horticultural produce is lost with every passing second. More and more piles of raw produce continue to add on to the existing heaps of dumped produce, which continues to dampen the luster of these blooming markets. As a young, sprouting advocate for a sustainable environment, this concern has inspired me to think out of the box, and realize the potential that exists in adding value to the decomposed horticultural produce.

This idea is put into action through collecting all waste matter from these common market grounds, which house most of the biodegradable matter left to decompose. The biodegradable matter is collected to create compost which is allowed to decompose and then put into a biodigester to ferment more effectively. The end product is a concentrated solution of organic manure.

Production of organic manure is one of the prominent avenues which will aid in advocating for climate smart agriculture through the use of eco-friendly fertilizers which are in harmony with nature. As a result, commercialization of organic manure serves a great purpose in improving household income as initial investments are less than that needed to use inorganic fertilizers.

Due to the frequency of droughts which has culminated from climate change, there is a growing need for more tolerate strategies with a high income generation potential and to alleviate poverty. In this case, production of organic fertilizers has low set-up costs and profit margins can be considerably higher than the use of inorganic fertilizers.

On the other hand, the prices of fertilizers have risen sharply making it unbearable for farmers as it increases the cost of production. Hence the need for a sustainable outlook towards production. It is hoped that the new cottage industry of producing organic fertilizers in Zimbabwe will soon provide an important tool for the generation of income and the creation of food security for hundreds of households.

This initiative aims to advocate for climate smart agriculture through the use of organic fertilizers which are cost effective. It also aims to add an emotional appeal to both women and youth, to take an active role in the production of organic fertilizers. This is because the aerobic composting methodology of producing is more suitable for agriculture. It is the belief and vision to expand the potential of this business, with an aim to cater for a growing customer base which is becoming environmentally conscious.

Currently, the project is at its infancy stage having set aside an area to create compost for the acquired decomposed matter from the markets. A total amount of US$2800 is needed to see this project fully functional through setting up a biodigester, delivering the decomposed matter from the markets, maintenance, amongst the important components of this project.

My name is Cynthia Chimhanda, a 23 year old sprouting advocate for a green economy from Zimbabwe who has a passion for the environment.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Cynthia Chimhanda (Zimbabwe) –kudzanaicy[st]

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as proposal #75 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

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