Farmers reap rewards of best practices trainingPhoto | Sawir/kaydka/Ergo
Lower Shabelle farmers have been celebrating increased production of grain and vegetables as a result of adopting better farming practices.
The farmers were trained last year by local NGO, Somali Agriculture Technical Group (SATG).
SATG also gave farmers treated seeds and fertilizers.
Idiris Abukar Yussuf, one of the farmers, told Radio Ergo’s local reporter he previously used to harvest only one sack of maize from his farm but now gets four sacks.
Yussuf said he learnt methods of planting and irrigation and selection and use of fertilizers.
The new seeds were a great advantage, as seeds in the past had been poor quality and scarce.
Yussuf has been farming for 43 years. He said his family of 15 was now fully dependent on the farm production.
Maryan Abukar Idow said her family also relies on her four acre farm. She too harvests four sacks of maize compared to a previous single sack before she applied new practices. The profit from her increased yield has enabled her to build a house for her family.
SATG administrator Khadijo Ahmed Abuukar said the group had carried out research into the main problems affecting local farmers and designed the training course to focus on soil preparation, drip and other irrigation methods, pest control, and use of fertilizers.
Around 1,700 farmers from 16 settlements in Afgoye, seven in Aw-dheegle, and six in Balad in Middle Shabelle region benefited from the SATG training course in March 2014.