Farming God’s Way
The Climate change, Environment and Food Security program of CCT recently trained 188 members from 45 IR–VICOBA groups of Bahi district on conservation farming (farming God’s Way). This approach which make use of a small piece of land and spells about no land tilling helps the peasant/subsistence farmers to be sure of food for their households. The method is contrary to the traditional ways of farming in which a large piece of land produces less. Vivid examples from the farmers we met witness that a 4 acres piece of land in the areas visited could yield not more than 60-70 tins of maize (about 10-13bags).
During the training session the facilitators discovered that most households only have food (both maize/sorghum and millet) for not more than 6-8months beyond which the household should start purchasing food from markets and or other sources. The training emphasized the use of locally available materials mostly found within their locality, such materials include farmyard manure, dead dry grass for mulching/land cover, ash/lime, lablab plant together with improved seeds and members were trained on how to prepare the farmland on which to grow the required plants. In Bahi members were asked to make small plots to grow maize using seeds that do withstand drought such as stuka variety on top of that they were asked to practice crop rotation to improve soil nutrients necessary for plant growth.
A 36sq.m plot with space between maize plants of 60cm and 75cm between lines have 90 holes with 180 plants in which case each hole dug houses two energetic plants which could produce 0ne or more cobs, thereby making such an area to have as many as 270 cobs on the average, now if 20 cobs make a tin for sure we have 9 tins(1.5 bags) some of the training activities undertaken are shown below