Small scale farmers producing organic fertiliser through garbage

By Lavender Chandisareva

INNOVATIVE smallholder farmers in Harare’s Waterfalls suburb and other parts of the country have embarked on successful business ventures by converting garbage into organic fertiliser using earthworms.

The farmers drawn from various parts of the country are collecting waste and turning it into organic fertiliser using their home compost better known as the Jati earthworm breeding composter.

The affordable organic fertiliser is boosting yields for garlic, onions, peas and vegetables, among other cash crops.

A visit to one of the farms in Harare’s Waterfalls suburb was quite revealing as farmers explained how this innovation has become a successful business venture raking in huge amounts in foreign currency.

“We have this Jati compost that we are using, using waste from the farm, broilers waste and here is the garlic that l have and even trading to SA and getting foreign currency,” said one farmer.

“We are producing organic fertiliser from the waste from Mbare and we make them rot up it takes about 28 days then soon after we surf it removing plastics and bottles then we mix the refined soil with earthworms to make the fertiliser strong and that makes it different from other chemical fertilisers.”

Zim Earthworm Farms founder, Dr Whengwiri Efram spoke on the strides which have been made through the use of organic fertiliser which is also environmentally friendly.

“We have organic fertiliser that is generated around the country from the waste and we have millions of organic fertilizer and other farmers are now practising it for themselves to produce their fertiliser that is helping and promoting a great growth of plants, there is an innovation called the jatcorb compost that is all over the country. The organic fertiliser will remain in the soil even after you have harvested, this is also helping a lot in cleaning the environment,” he said.

Harnessing waste for the production of affordable organic fertiliser is boosting crop yields while also ensuring household food security, creating employment and helping in waste management.