With over 200 farmers present Healing Hands Trainer Mbweni Chirwa provided instruction and conducted farm tours April 28th. Attendees learned about Survival Gardening (composting, raised planting beds, and drip irrigation) for vegetable production. The group toured conservation agriculture maize fields and learned how these techniques can increase yields while conserving moisture, reducing weed growth, saving soil, and reducing labor requirements.
Ekivase Nyirenda proudly showed her maize field and spoke about the high yield that the new farming techniques were bringing. The increased yield will help make it possible for her three children to have an education.
Farming group leader Kasita Nkosi explained to the group the benefits of conservation agriculture, sometimes called Farming God’s Way. He encouraged farmers to use crop residue is mulch. He the crop residue is a resource provided by God. Instead of burning it, use it to conserve moisture and prevent weed growth.
The farmers are currently exploring the formation of a farm coop as a way of improving the market price for their produce. Government officials and agriculture extension agents are assisting with the coop formation process.
An added bonus of the field day was Mbwenu showing the visitors his biogas generator that transforms animal manure into gas for cooking and urea fertilizer for use with the maize crop. The next field day will be in January.