Search

Could organic fertilizers solve the food gap?


Organic fertilizers, made up of materials occurring in nature, may be the answer as a sustainable source of nutrients to provide enough food to assist with the global demand for agriculture products. PHOTO: Image Collab

The sustainability of global conventional agriculture faces many challenges with world food systems increasingly threatened, making it difficult to feed the world each year. Crop yields are declining due to threats such as land degradation, fewer water resources, climate change and synthetic fertilizers, while population growth, diet changes associated with rising incomes, and other stressors are driving a greater demand for agricultural products. Thapelo Phiri, director of Dijo Tsa Mobu Organic Fertilizer (Food of the Soil), says organic fertilizers, which are materials occurring in nature regularly as an end product of a natural process, may be the answer, as a sustained source of nutrients, to provide enough food due to their slow release decomposition. He says he’s developed a natural liquidified, organic fertilizer from chicken manure, so the process of farming becomes more natural and improves crop quality and yield potential up to three times more, making it more sustainable.

“An increasing number of farmers have been using synthetic fertilizers to produce crops which have chemicals in them that have damaged the soil quality. These types of fertilizers have made some some soils throughout the world infertile and they also put lives at risk due to humans and animals possibly consuming chemicals,” says the innovator.

According to Phiri, organic fertilizers can be used for indoor and outdoor farming and help reinstate the natural fertility of damaged soil because of their organic nature which increases the soil’s organic matter, giving increased, healthier yields. He says the key product elements of his fertilizer is the ability to reduce water surface tension, incr