Manures you should make on your farm this new year – Daily Monitor


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Bokashi manure: This is made from materials from crops such as rice or coffee husks. Rice husks is better because it decomposes better.To make the compost, farmers need to add baking yeast to the husks, then charcoal and quarry dust. 


By George Munene

One of the resolutions you should make as a farmer this year is to make your own manure on the farm to not only cut costs but also better your soil and the environment.You see, livestock manure has become the new gold on the farm as enthusiasm towards farming, especially in urban areas surges. A 90 kilogramme bag of well-composed manure goes for as high as Shs36,000 currently as demand outstrips supply. But as a crop farmer, before you rush to purchase manure, you should know what you can buy and what you can make on the farm. Seeds of Gold spoke to Samuel Nderitu, the founder of Grow Bio-Intensive Agriculture Centre of Kenya (G-BIAK), on easy-to-make organic fertilisers.Nderitu notes that one can ‘manufacture’ various types of organic manure from kitchen and farm waste, weeds, egg shells, vegetable peelings and dry leaves, among others. Below are the different kinds of manure you can easily make on the farm: Farm waste manureThis is made by decomposing waste from the farm, compound and kitchen. After gathering enough raw materials, one has to dig a shallow hole on the ground. This, Nderitu says, allows micro-organisms to come on the surface. The micro-organisms are key in breaking down the raw materials to decompose it.On top of the loose soil, materials for making manure are placed, starting with things like dried maize, sorghum and millet stalks. On top of these, one places green materials mostly nitrogen-rich plants such as sesbania and lucina. The heap is then topped with kitchen waste, and the process is repeated until the heap reaches three metres in height.The heap is then left to decompose for three months. Throughout the decomposition time though, farmers need to pour water to aid the process, especially if the manure-making process is not done during the rainy season. “You end up with a cleaner environment and your own organic manure, at no cost,” says Nderitu.

Vermi-compostThis involves rearing red worms, which breakdown manure by feeding on the green materials as provided by the farmer.Besides the manure, one gets compost tea which they can use for top dressing crops. “We feed the worms on specific plants to get particular nutrients from the tea,” explains Nderitu, who rears the worms. To get phosphorus for example, the red worms are fed Russian comfrey.After feeding them, water is poured over the worms to wash down nutrients into harvesting tanks. Farmers then irrigate their crops with the nutritious tea to make them thrive.Animal manureMany farmers, as Nderitu explains, use raw livestock waste on their farms. However, for good results, the waste should be left to decompose to ensure it cures fully.To process the manure, farmers need to heap animal waste and cover it with raw twigs or wide leaves such as those from bananas.The heap is then left to decompose for three months before it is ready for use.When it is fully cured, it supplies nutrients to the soil. On the other hand, when not fully cured, it takes time to cure, instead of feeding the [email protected] 

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