Before you rush to buy manure, bear in mind that you can also make it on your farm.
Peter Dhamuzungu advises farmers on the advantages of collecting livestock waste for money and easy- to- make organic fertilisers.
Dhamuzungu, the Director of Busoga Seed Solutions, notes that farmers can manufacture various types from kitchen and farm waste, weeds, eggshells, vegetable peelings, dry leaves, among others.
Livestock waste is accumulated by heaping and covering it with raw tree twigs or wide leaves such as those of bananas.
Many farmers, Dhamuzungu explains, use raw livestock waste on their farms however, for good results; the waste should be left to decompose to ensure it cures fully.
The decomposing takes three months before the waste is ready for use.
When it is fully cured, it supplies nutrients to the soil, translating to energised crop growth and yields on the farm.
On the other hand, when not fully matured, it takes time to cure instead of enriching the soil.
Other types of manure
Other types of manure include farm waste manure that is obtained from decomposing waste from the farm, the compound and the kitchen.
This, Dhamuzungu explains, allows microorganisms to come to the surface. The micro organisms break down raw materials to decompose it.
On top of the loose soil, materials making manure are placed, starting with things like dried maize, sorghum and millet stalks.
Dr Fredrick Kabbale, the district production and marketing officer for Buyende, adds that on top of these, the farmer places green materials, mostly nitrogen rich plants such as lesbania and lucina.
The heap, Dr. Kabbale says, is then topped with kitchen waste, and the process is repeated until the heap reaches three meters in height.
The heap is then left to decompose for three months.
Through the decomposition time though, Dhamuzungu explains that the farmer needs to pour water to aid the process especially, if the mature-making process is not being done during the rainy season.
“You end up with a cleaner environment and your organic manure at no cost,” he says.
Recycled manure technology
This was introduced by KULIKA Uganda and Balimi Farmers Network International (BFI), both agro-promoting organisations.
Moses Mpasa, a beneficiary of the training, is practicing the recycled manure technology from plastics in Kamuli district.
This features the collecting of empty plastic bottles of mineral water, energy drinks, waragi and buveera (polyethylene bags) before setting them on fire.
“After combustion, leave the burnt product for a week and mix it with the soil, where it does wonders,” Mpasa says.
In and around Kampala city, a 90kg bag of animal waste compost goes for as high as sh35, 000.