I am 30 years old from Kalolo Village in Traditional Authority Njombwa, Kasungu district, Malawi. I am pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Bunda Campus, Malawi.
Currently I am implementing a project concerning integrating livestock (exotic pig) and maize production in Malawi. The project is about raising Tri-Stars and landrace pig breeds with the first priority being to produce fertilizer from the dung. Adding less chemical fertilizer and instead using dung and fertile tree leaves solves the problems brought about by inorganic fertilizer.
As of now I managed to apply this fertilizer to maize crops and am expecting a high yield of maize this year without application of additional inorganic fertilizers. The idea is to produce more exotic pigs which can produce more dung to help provide more fertilizer to the community. More fertilizers will help to produce more maize and end hunger, because maize is a staple food in most countries in Africa.
I am proud that those farmers that got this kind of fertilizer for free in the community last year have had a very good maize harvest in their fields. The application of this fertilizer helps to keep moisture in the soil so the effect of drought is very little.
Besides that, the project is able to recruit youth from the same community to help to solve a problem of unemployment rate in Malawi. Currently, 10 youth have been employed and by the end of this year about 30-50 will be employed. By the end of 2017 about 80-150 people will be employed and by 2019 more than 1000 youth will be employed as a part of this project.
The project is sustainable in the way that all the pens are fenced and at a distance of over 100 m. We allow only employees to enter in the pen with well protected work suits to ensure that they remain disease free. In addition, some of income that is generated from the project will be for expanding it in the future.
A business plan that we wrote in our group for an entrepreneurship class when I was doing my BSc degree motivated me so much. I saw the cash flow and fast growth of exotic pigs and the issue of food insecurity and unemployment rate, and how agriculture plays a great role in Malawi.
The project as of now gives me income since I have already started selling some of the pigs. The fertilizer that I make also brings income because I am selling each bag at USD $10. The community is benefiting a lot as well because I am supplying cheap fertilizer that will allow them to produce more maize to end hunger as maize is a staple food in Malawi.
Besides that, the project is employing many youth from the community and hence reducing unemployment rate in the community. The project is intended to rear exotic pigs (Tri-Star’s and landrace) and produce fertilizer from the dung. Using this fertilizer more maize will be produced.
The project is also intended to make a water reservoir to integrate livestock, fish and crops to ensure sustainability and success due to climate change issues. Currently the project had already started and I have constructed pens, bought 14 pigs, employed 10 workers and produced fertilizer for maize production.
The factors for success of my project are employing more than 1000 employees, producing more fertilizers and keeping more pigs at the farm. These factors will be measured in the way that if more people are food secure in the community because they produce plenty of maize using fertilizer, that the project is producing more fertilizer, and if more youth and other adults are employed, it will mean that the project is a success.
The grant will be used to construct two pens for about USD $1700, buy feed for about USD $800, buy additional pigs for about USD $700, pay salaries at about USD $1100, buy bags for fertilizer for about USD $500 and cover transport costs for about USD $200, all of which will be completed by the end of 2016. This will help to increase productivity of the project at the end.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Chamuka Thebulo (Kasungu, Malawi) – dicksonthebulo[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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