28 August 2009

Zimbabwe: Farmers Opt for Organic Fertilizers

Harare — Organic farming has emerged as a sustainable alternative to enhance food security in Zimbabwe as efforts to revive the agricultural sector gather pace.

Most farmers are now aware of the importance of organic fertilizers and their nutritional value as witnessed by the booming sales of the product.

Sales and marketing director of Nico Orgo Fertilizers, which is exhibiting at the Harare Agricultural Show, Mr John Chimedza, said they had witnessed an overwhelming response to their product at this year's show, as most farmers were keen to buy organic fertilizer.

"It is amazing how many farmers especially those into horticulture, have come to inquire about organic fertilizer and have shown an interest in it.

"It seems they have come to realise the importance of organic fertilizer as an alternative low cost, environmental friendly and healthy farming system," said Mr Chimedza.

A 50kg bag of organic fertilizer is pegged at US$22, which is relatively cheaper to other fertilizers that are going for around US$27. Nico Orgo Fertilizers have opened 16 depots countrywide to meet the demand of the product.

The depots are situated in Rushinga, Rutenga, Muzarabani and Chitungwiza. Organic fertilizer is famous for its non-toxicity that usually deflavours food products and is also popular for its relatively cheap nature.

Most people are now opting for organically produced food as they regard it healthier than non-organic food and better tasting. Organic agriculture is an environmental friendly farming system that ensures care, balance and sustainability of the eco system while ensuring the health of the people and the land.

By the end of 2007, world agriculture land under organic agriculture was 32,2 million hectares, with the global markets for organic products reaching a value of about US$46 billion.

In Africa, countries such as Kenya and Uganda also had substantial amounts of land certified organic.

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