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Pig rearing helps Kakamega farmer break down organic waste to manure

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A Ka­mega County farmer has cut or­ganic fer­til­iser costs in maize pro­duc­tion by rear­ing three pigs, which are help­ing him break down or­ganic waste into ma­nure.

Wyc­liffe Ochango said con­vert­ing or­ganic waste into ma­nure by nor­mal de­com­pos­i­tion takes months, but the pigs are ‘cata­lys­ing’ the pro­cess.

“In­stead of wait­ing for one to three months for farm re­fuse to de­com­pose, I de­cided to use pigs to quicken the pro­cess.  Pigs are non-se­lect­ive feed­ers of any or­ganic waste, which is dropped after 24 hours in form of dung,” Ochango said.

Apart from break­ing it into small parts, the drop­pings have es­sen­tial di­gest­ive en­zyme residues and mi­cro- or­gan­isms that hasten fur­ther de­com­pos­i­tion in the four-feet-by-three-feet pit, which is four feet deep.

READ ALSO:Biocata­lyst slices ma­nure com­post­ing time by half

Adding wood ash in­creases the con­cen­tra­tion of po­tassium, cal­cium, and phos­phorus other than re­du­cing soil acid­ity due to its basic nature.

 “I rarely use in­or­ganic fer­til­iser in maize farm­ing. After ac­cu­mu­lat­ing the ma­nure for one to two weeks, I dry and broad­cast it in my one acre. I am re­lieved of the cost of plant­ing and top-dress­ing the maize field,” he said.

He col­lects 10kg to 15kg of Napier and other grass re­mains from the shed of his Frisian-in­di­gen­ous hy­brid cow daily.

READ ALSO:Com­post ma­nure as good in crop yield as syn­thetic fer­til­izer sci­ent­ists say

He also col­lects flour dust from his posho mill and kit­chen ve­get­able re­mains to feed the pig, which churns them into dung.

The pit is lined with a poly­thene sheet to pre­vent leech­ing of the nu­tri­ents.  The poly­thene sheet also cov­ers the pit to keep off rain and sur­face run-off water.

READ ALSO:Farmer earns from rear­ing red worms for or­ganic ma­nure

On the maize field, Ochango  tills with oxen to mix the soil well with the ma­nure. 

The ma­nure is ap­plied on Napier grass and ve­get­able orch­ard.

Ochango har­vests more than 15 bags of 90kg maize from the one acre.

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