Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pauline Mugambi: How I increased my yield from 5 bags of maize to 36

Pauline Mugambi can now look back and smile after witnessing increased yield from her maize farm after adopting conservation agriculture.

Initially, the farmer would harvest 5 bags of maize which have now increased to 36. The farmer attributes the increased yield to valuable education provided by Alliance Bioversity & CIAT.

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The farmer notes that the farming technique involving minimum tillage is crucial in safeguarding soil structure and nurturing vital microorganisms for optimal crop growth.

“Conservation agriculture has revolutionised my farming venture. Today, I witness firsthand the substantial benefits this technology brings, with my yields soaring higher than ever before,” said Mrs Mugambi.

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The technology is said to be key to ensuring sustained food production and improving soil properties and other ecosystem services because it addresses missing components in the intensive tillage-based standardized approach to agriculture intensification.

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Boaz Waswa, a seasoned soil scientist with Bioversity CIAT, underscores the important role of conservation agriculture in enhancing food security nationwide.

“With climate change wreaking havoc on traditional maize farming, conservation agriculture emerges as the beacon of hope,” says Dr Waswa.

He adds that through initiatives like Ukama Ustawi, farmers have diversified agricultural practices and mitigated the risks associated with overdependence on maize.

“Our focus is on sustainable technologies that safeguard soil health and water conservation, hence promoting regenerative agriculture,” he says.

Ukama Ustawi, part of the CGIAR Initiative on Diversification in East and Southern Africa, is committed to tackling food and nutrition security risks exacerbated by maize monoculture.

The initiative is collaborating with key stakeholders including KALRO and county governments of Nakuru, Makueni, and Embu, to implement on-farm demonstrations of conservation agriculture and climate-smart practices.

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