Demonstrating benefits of balanced and precise fertilizer use in Tanzania
An important initiative to strengthen the fertilizer input supply system to farmers in one part of Africa has trained over a thousand farmers in balanced and precise fertilizer use on thirty demonstration plots in southern Tanzania.
ICL Fertilizers was chosen to partner with the United States Agency for international development (USAID) for the Feed the Future Tanzania Mboga na Matunda (Fruit and Vegetables) programme. The aim of the one-year initiative is to increase productivity and profitability of horticulture in two provinces of Tanzania.
Aiming for better fertilizer use, improved crops and higher income
The target of the collaboration, which began in February 2018, is to work with over 3000 small scale farmers and forty local agricultural input suppliers to improve productivity of three main crops – tomatoes, potatoes and onions – in Mbeya and Iringa provinces. Through balanced and precise fertilization with Polysulphate the target is to increase yields of these crops by at least 40%.
The thirty demonstration plots have been set up by ICL, each of three quarters of an acre in size. Surrounding farmers are being invited to come and learn best fertilizer practice and compare the results of better practice with their usual crop nutrition programme which is demonstrated alongside.
Farmers have a field day with new ideas
Best fertilizer practice is offered alongside other inspiration and information about other aspects of farming at events known as Farmers' Field Days. Topics include better farm planning, crop health diagnostics and crop storage.
Already the visible differences in crop size and health from using Polysulphate are being noted. In November 2018, at what will be the end of the growing season, the yield and quality of the harvested crops will be measured along with the value of whole year’s work.