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The rains are on and the farmers countrywide are fretting about the diverse effects that are at most time associated with heavy rains. Inevitably, soil degradation sets in which subsequently affects agricultural products on the local and international market. farmers need to scrutinize the types of fertilizers suitable to curb soil degradation.
Agroking Uganda limited proposes a shift to Fert plus Organic fertilizer by farmers. A recent survey, shows a serious nutrient deficiency in Uganda’s mostly acidic soils. Because of soil degradation due to overuse of soils and climate change, reveals that very poor yields, chronic food shortage leading to malnourishment have resulted in the country.

Fertilizers should improve soil structure, tips farmers to go for fertilizers that are environmentally friendly, improve soil structure, help retain moisture in the soil, increase nutrients availability to plants, being a catalyst that increases microbial life in the soil. Fert plus, is one such a fertilizer also restores soil back to its original vitality. the high Ca9 in Fert plus prevents flower abortions especially in tomatoes. The humic and fluvic acid in the fertilizer repels all soil pests and facilitates uptake of all nutrients to the plant.

Avoid chemical fertilizers, “I have had experiences in visiting organic fertilizer making factories in China and USA and discovered that they settle for non-chemical fertilizers and that is why their produce dominates the world market,” Since 2009, he has been doing research on biochar organic fertilizers using local raw materials most of which are regarded as waste, like municipal waste, charcoal powder and bamboo. Fert plus is in solid pellets and is directly incorporated in the soil around the plant. A 25 kg bag and One bag work on a quarter of an acre for most of the crops and is applied once a season.

re-soil fertilizers
From the Fert plus fertilizers, - a zero waste integrated ecosystem farm offers the re-soil fertilizers which can also can tame soil degradation.
Among other traits that separate re-soil from the usual fertilizers is the ability to enhance soil, retain water for more than 15 days, improving soil restructure, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, giving nutrition to the soil, allow aeration and can last over three years without reapplying.

Nature friendly technology
“We apply composite, dung, charcoal, plant manure and soil to make one 10-kilogramme bag,” the long process – usually a month - it takes to manufacture one bag but the wait is worthwhile.
“You may need 100 kilograms to cover one acre of land but the application depends on the type of soil. Plants that take longer periods to grow such as coffee and banana need direct application while crops like dodo, cabbages and sorghum need spreading of the fertilizers.

Types of organic fertilizers
Unlike commercial chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizer for gardens is typically made of single ingredients and can be matched to your garden’s particular nutritional needs. The types of organic fertilizers can come from plant, animal or mineral sources, depending on what chemicals your garden requires. In order to qualify as an organic fertilizer, the materials must naturally occur in nature.
Best organic fertilizer
There are a number of organic fertilizers from which to choose. There may be all-purpose chemical fertilizers, but this doesn’t exist in the organic side of gardening. Different organic fertilizers add different nutrients and ingredients to the soil. The materials you need depend completely on your soil and the plants you are growing in the garden.
Plant-based fertilizers
Plant-based fertilizers break down quicker than other organics, but they generally offer more in the way of soil conditioning than actual nutrients. These materials, such as alfalfa meal or compost, help to add drainage and moisture retention to poor soils. Other plant-based fertilizers include: cottonseed meal, molasses, legume cover crops, green manure cover crops, kelp seaweed, and compost.
Animal-based fertilizers
Animal-based fertilizers, such as manure, bone meal or blood meal, add lots of nitrogen to the soil.
It’s great for leafy plants and strong growth in the early weeks of gardening. Additional animal-based fertilizers for the garden include: fish emulsion, milk urea (urine) manure tea.
Mineral-based fertilizers
Mineral-based fertilizers can add nutrients to the soil, as well as raising or lowering the pH level when needed for healthy plant growth. Some of these types of organic fertilizers are: calcium Epsom salt (magnesium and sulfur).

Ugandan farmers must wake up to the benefits of fertilizer usage in the struggle to improve harvests. Some of us who have seen the policy document are shocked to discover that Uganda loses 80 kilograms of nutrients per hectare per year due to topsoil erosion and nutrient export through harvested biomass.
It is further indicated that given the country’s growing population pressure the soils are likely to lose a lot more nutrients if we do nothing about the issue.
The policy discourages the common mentality that Uganda is naturally fertile because this is no longer the case.
As a result, soil fertility decline is one of the binding constraints to agricultural growth in Uganda.
It is no use providing good quality seeds and plantlets to farmers in national anti-poverty programs without emphasizing the importance of fertilizers. With depletion of nutrients, the soils are slowly losing their ability to support crop growth thereby affecting the yields and the productivity of the farmers. Though the application of fertilizers is a way to overcome this challenge but few farmers in Uganda have adapted this. Therefore, it is advisable for farmers to use fertilizers on their land if they are to get better output especially on types of land, which are experiencing depletion.

High population
Ugandan farmers make very little use of fertilizer compared to other countries in Sub Saharan Africa yet the soils are getting depleted as a result of over cropping and overgrazing. Although areas like Kasese and Kabarole Districts in the Mt Rwenzori region and mountain ranges in Mbale still have fertile soil, they are faced with a high population growth rate. If farmers are reluctant to use fertilizers, they should practice either crop rotation or ensure the soils are left to rest between planting of crops.

Legumes such as beans, cowpea and groundnuts and some tree species have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air, which is transferred to the soil through their root nodules by bacteria called rhizobium. But cereals such as maize, millet, sorghum and rice behave differently. There is, therefore, need to apply fertilizers with these crops for better yields.

Lack of information
a number of cotton farmers growing cotton are adopting the use of fertilizers. The Uganda Ginners Association is cooperating with Uganda Cotton Development Authority and Agroking Uganda limited to purchase fertilizers, which are sold to farmers at reduced prices.

Satisfactory level
The 2005/2006 Uganda National Household Survey rated farmers’ fertilizer use at 1 per cent of the households surveyed which were applying inorganic fertilizers. Yet the World Bank estimated an agricultural productivity growth rate of 4 per cent per annum is required to stimulate a satisfactory level of economic development with annual increase of labour and land productivity of 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Therefore, developing a sustainable, competitive input supply and output marketing system is essential to stimulating fertilizer use in Uganda.

 

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