The secret to improving soil health for farmers

Active 0 Reply 631 Views 2018-04-13 12:34:16 General

Soil health remains one of the most important resource available to a farmer. It contains valuable minerals, nutrients and living organisms which are useful for plant growth and ultimately crop production.

Over the years’ climate change and over utilization of soil for farming has led to unhealthy and degraded soils which contributes to low productivity affecting most African farms. Although this problem is prominent all around the world, farmers in Africa suffer more due to a lack of education on simple practices that can help improve soil health.

These practices have been known to not only improve farms health but eradicate erosion {washing away of the upper part of soil}. They can also help increase the water retention capacity of a soil, helping a farmer to reduce cost on irrigation or withstand short periods of drought. Examples of these practices include:

  1. Crop Rotation
  2. Zero-tillage or reduced till
  3. Mulching
  4. Inter cropping with cover crops
  5. Inter cropping with legumes or nitrogen fixing crops
  6. Organic fertilizer application
  7. Proper control of pests, insects, weed e.t.c

A lot of these methods are the basis of organic farming, which is a concept that supports the use of only organic products in farming. A lot of farmers believe that these practices would result in increased work and costs for low product yield. This is why it is important to show farmers evidences that implementing these practices work.

Practices such as Mulching would be especially beneficial to African farmers who practice rain-fed agriculture. It helps to provide a shade for the soil, preventing rapid water loss and also serves as food for micro-organisms boosting soil quality. For farmers to believe the efficacy of these practices its crucial to keep record of farm practices and compare them against each other. Demonstration farms can be set up in different locations where famers can be invited to learn about these practices and cost of implementation of each. They would also have the opportunity to see firsthand the results of adopting these measures.

Farmers who practice measures to encourage good soil health can keep records of farm’s information all through the farming season. This can serve as an evidence to be presented during farmer’s meetings, helping to encourage other farmers adopt such.

ProbityFarms is a solution designed to help farmers store farm records easily and efficiently. Our dashboard presents a farmer with guide and tips to help all through farming season till harvest. Using our solution, farmers can compare results of farm activities with a view at improving on farming methods in subsequent farming seasons. Visit to access more features.