Farmers in Lower Shabelle sing praises of soil enrichment technology


Farmers in Afgoye and Awdigle near the capital Mogadishu are reaping the rewards of soil enrichment techniques promoted by an agricultural NGO.

Somali Agricultural Technology Group (SATG) introduced the new technology involving enriching soil with phosphorus earlier this year, after their study revealed that soil in the area was lacking phosphorus. SATG has also been selling quality, treated seeds to farmers.

Fatuma Ali in Belbeley village, where the new technique was piloted, was trained by SATG prior to using the new method on her land. She told Radio Ergo it was very effective.

“I own a farm of two hectares. I tested the new technology on a piece of my farm measuring 26 square meters. I used to harvest two sacks from it during the rainy Gu’ season, but when I introduced this technology I harvested seven sacks,” she said.

“I am expecting to apply the technology to all my farm land so as to get more yield in coming seasons,” she added.

Muslimo Mohamed said she was also convinced by the new technique that made a huge difference to her yield.

“I had not planted on my farm of four hectares for eight years, but when I heard about the new project, I came back to farming, and tested it on 26 square meters of my farm, and I harvested 8 100-kg sacks of maize. Previously I gave up farming as the produce was very little, but I am now encouraged by the new technology introduced, and I am looking forward to its full application,” said Muslimo.

Abdisatar Mohamed Hassan, in Sukurow village near Afgoye, is among the local farmers trained as a trainer, hoping to satisfy the growing demand for the knowhow among small scale farmers in the area.

A total of 95 farmers from Afgoye and Awdigle benefited from the technology during the Gu’ season, according to Professor Abdulkadir Mohamed Abikar, head of SATG.

He said SATG were focusing on reaching out to more farmers, as the technology had been effective in 75 percent of the farms where it was applied.

“During this Deyr season, we expanded the technique to new villages. We applied it on 200 more farms: 75 farms in Awdigle, 75 in Afgoye, and 50 in Bal’ad town,” said professor Abikar.