Algae-based organic fertiliser doubles crop and livestock yields

A Malaysian-based company, Dynapharm, has introduced a multi-nutrient folia fertiliser that can be administered to both crops and livestock to boost production by more than 50 per cent.

Agronomist Michael Mwangi of Dynapharm Kenya, the official supplier of the fetiliser in the country, said the algae-based DI Grow Green feritliser is rich in minerals required for crop and animal growth which include nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, among others.

In one litre, nitrogen content in the organic fertiliser is 2.35 per cent while phosphorus is 4.44 per cent and potassium 1.75 per cent.

“Besides offering the macro nutrients n[required for strong root, stem, and leaf formation, other micro nutrients in the fertiliser boost physiological processes like photosynthesis, food transport, water and minerals form and to various part of the plants for growth,” Mwangi said.

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Hormones like auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins contained in the product stimulate growth and boost production of leaves, which are essential for multiple fruiting.

Other minerals derived from the magnesium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, zinc, calcium, iron, among others.

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 According to the agronomist, farmers have reported an increase of more than 50 per cent in yields after using the fertiliser.

Kitale farmer, Gregory Simiyu Waswa, who has used the fertiliser in his watermelon farm, has recorded fruits weighing up to 17.5 kilos per fruit.

His produce per acre increased from 10 tonnes to 18 tonnes collectively.

Watermelons weigh from five kilos to 10 kilos, with hybrids like Asali F1 giving a maximum of 12 kilos. 

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While it is mixed with feeds for animals as a supplement, it can be applied to crops before germination, at seedling stage and before flowering. Dairy cows, chickens, pigs, rabbits, among other livestock can be given the fertiliser as a mineral supplement.

It boosts germination if seeds are soaked into a mixture of the same with water. It promotes uniform sprouting by breaking seed dormancy.

Soft-coat seeds like beans, maize, groundnuts require soaking of about 30 minutes while hard ones like rice need 24 hours. The rate is 3ml of DI Grow in one litre of water.

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Stems such as sugarcane, napier grass and cassava can also be soaked for 15 minutes before planting to speed up sprouting of the buds.

Folia application should be done in the morning or evening just like during application of pesticides.

Because of the multiple nutrients, DI Grow Green can be used on any crop.

He said more farmers have used the organic fertiliser in Uganda than Kenya, where it is still penetrating into the market.

One litre is sold at Sh1,500 while 250ml goes for Sh600. A four-litre jerrican is sold at Sh4,000.

Dynapharm runs independent branches all over the world.

PHOTO: Dynapharm Kenya Agronomist Michael Mwangi displays a four-litre DIGrow Green organic fetiliser at the Kabiru-ini Agricultural Society of Kenya Show, Nyeri, on September 17, 2016. The fertiliser can be fed to animals and crops to increase production by more than 50 per cent. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.

Mwangi can be reached on +254714925956.