FCT farmers augment fertiliser with poultry, cow dung

Some farmers in Bwari Area Council, FCT, say they have resorted to patronising livestock farmers for poultry manure and cow dung as fertilisers on their farms.

The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said they now used poultry manure and cow dung in place of industrial fertilisers.

They said industrial fertilisers have become expensive and almost unaffordable for them.

According to them, most farmers have resolved to using organic fertilisers and the rush for the manure has increased since the planting season began.

Mr Yakubu Bala, a farmer in Sabon-gari community said, more people now rush to poultry farms and houses to buy the manure and litter.

Bala said that a bag of poultry excreta which initially cost N3,000, now goes for N5,000.

He attributed the increase in price to the high demand for the poultry manure that farmers are now using to augment.

Mr Bawah Malik, a farmer said he buys cow dung from herders in Kogo community, close to where his farm is located.

Malik said that although what he spent could not be quantified to the cost of industrial fertilisers, adding that the cow dung was enough for him to spread on his crops.

” I sometimes give them N10, 000 or a little more and they ask me to pack as much as I want, sometimes I go four to five times with a wheelbarrow.

” I started patronising them during the dry season farming in December and so, I just continued because it is cost effective as compared to a bag of industrial fertiliser.

” The crops are doing well so far, if God continues to be graceful to us with the rains, we hope to have bountiful yields,” he said.

Mrs Rabi Usman, a poultry farmer in the area, said the patronage for organic manure has been impressive, adding that she was making additional profit from the business.

Usman said she also used poultry excreta on her vegetable garden as well, adding that it was good fertiliser if used with caution.

” Poultry manure and litter is good for farms, it is a low cost fertiliser but you have to be able to use it properly so you don’t do more harm than good to the crops.

”This is because too much of it on crops may kill the crop.

” Science says it returns nutrients and organic matter to the soil and helps to build soil fertility and quality, adding calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients to the soil.

” Both chicken and cow manure are some of the best resources of nutrients for organic crop farmers and it makes it easier to earn and maintain or increase your soil’s water retention,” she explained.

Mr Phillip Akuso, one of the farmers in the Baran-goni community, said that as at May a bag of Golden Urea was being sold for N37, 000, while others sold for N35, 000 and above.

” Fertilisers are so expensive this year and now that the planting season is here, it has even gone higher than earlier in the year.

” In 2023, the highest we bought was N20, 000 and slightly above but this year, as at May, Golden Urea was N37, 000.

” NPK 20-20-10 was sold for N35, 000 and above, while NPK 15-15 is scarce in the market and even when you eventually get it, it might be adulterated.

” So if you have to put at least 20 bags on your farm, where will you get the money and why will you not sell the produce at the end at a high price, ” Akuso said.

Akuso decried the cost of agro inputs, adding that chemicals were essential for a good yield, however, getting them had also become a major challenge for farmers.

He said he had already spent close to N500, 000 to start his farm but was yet to be satisfied with what was on ground, adding that he was not sure of a fruitful yield.

” If I cannot afford fertilisers and agrochemicals, I don’t know what will become of the crops this year, ” he said.

He urged the government to increase access to loan acquisitions for small holder farmers, and farmer groups so that they will be able to boost production on a larger scale.

Akuso urged the government to improve on security in farming communities to enable farmers to produce more and ensure food sufficiency in the country.

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Written by Nike

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