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Innovative farmer taps fish pond water for ir­rig­a­tion & nu­tri­ent sup­ply

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In­stead of buy­ing ni­tro­gen­ous fer­til­isers for his ve­get­able garden, Dick­son Mosota has elim­in­ated these costs by tap­ping fish pond water for ir­rig­a­tion as well as for the sup­ply of nu­tri­ents.

Fish ex­cre­ments are rich in urea, which is a com­pound of ni­tro­gen and other ele­ments.

Ni­tro­gen is one of the basic min­eral ele­ments re­spons­ible for the ve­get­at­ive growth in crops. It is a macro nu­tri­ent in pho­to­syn­thesis, the pro­cess of mak­ing food in green plants.

From his in­teg­rated farm­ing at Gesonso, Kisii County, the farmer real­ised that when he used the water from his in­teg­rated fish pond, the ve­get­ables on top of the chicken and rab­bit hatch did well.

Chick­ens and rab­bits drop their faecal mat­ter into the water to sup­port the growth of algae for the fish. When the fish ex­crete, the ac­cu­mu­lat­ing waste has other min­er­als ele­ments that ac­cel­er­ate the growth hor­mones in the crops. Ni­tro­gen is the main com­pon­ent in urea.

RE­LATED CON­TENT: Pris­ons of­ficer helps farm­ers set up in­teg­rated back­yard fish­ponds

The farmer drains the 4m by 8m pond monthly be­sides the reg­u­lar cir­cu­la­tion.

Be­sides fish, the ex­cess faecal mat­ter from the five chick­ens and three rab­bits also en­riches the water. The sed­i­ments are de­pos­ited at the base do the pond.

Chicken drop­pings are rich in po­tassium and phos­phorus.

RE­LATED CON­TENT: Human urine best fish­pond fer­til­iser, re­search says

The drained water is al­lowed to enter his ir­rig­a­tion sys­tem serving a plot of kales, and black night shade or man­agu.

“I am har­vest­ing more ve­get­ables than I used to when I ap­plied com­mer­cial fer­til­isers. I am glad that the water is not going to waste given that I get it at a cost. The fish and chick­ens are adding value to the water,” Mosota said dur­ing the 2017 Kisii Ag­ri­cul­tural So­ci­ety of Kenya Show.

From the plot, where he used to har­vest about 55kg after 10 days, the out­put has risen to between 80kg and 90kg over the same period. In five days after ap­plic­a­tion, the leaves turn dark green. Their size is also big­ger than the ones he used to har­vest be­fore.

RE­LATED CON­TENT: Fish pond waste water in­creases milk yields by three litres

The pond has a poly­thene lin­ing, which only al­lows the water to be cir­cu­lat­ing. The solid particles and any other or­ganic mat­ter sed­i­ment below the pond for later use.

On this plot, the farmer spend about 10kg of CAN fer­til­iser every month. He is no longer buy­ing the fer­til­iser.

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