Saturday, April 13, 2024
Home Harvest Money Expo Mind The Soil, Farmers Told

Mind The Soil, Farmers Told

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Ibrahim Ruhweza

Caption: Martijn Vielman from the Vieldman Group making a presentation on soil health at the Dutch Training Tent

Soil is like a bank account, and if poorly fed, it can deplete or fail to sustain a plant’s growth. The experts say soil reaches a certain point and gets depleted or loses nutrients. Therefore, to keep it on the right track, the addition of fertilisers is inevitable. According to Julius Twinamwijuka, from the Dutch village exhibition tent at the Harvest Money Expo 2024, farmers can reboot soils by adding calcium and organic fertilisers to them. He explained that inadequate calcium in the soil can be identified when plants or flowers start withering.

While training expo goers, Michael de Voogdm, also from the Dutch village, who had come for the harvest money expo, said without good soil, farmers are bound to register losses. He defined soil health as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. “It allows good root growth and plant productivity and improves drainage and soil aeration,” he explained. Voogd remarked that when soils become too acidic, plants struggle to get nutrients. This explains why, in some places, plants wither even when there is rain. However, he said that even though Ugandan soils are healthy, they need to be boosted with updated nutrients to keep them productive.

Using technology to manage soil health

The Dutch soil specialists also encouraged farmers to look into new forms of technology to manage soils and improve quality. The expo is sponsored by the Kingdom of Netherlands through its embassy, in conjunction with the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Tunga Nutrition, Engineering Solutions (ENGSOL), Techo Serve, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority, KOICA-K-ABIC, DFCU Bank, Private Sector Foundation Uganda, AKVO International, Pepsi, and State House.

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