By Chisomo Phiri

The Ministry of Agriculture under the Department of Agricultural Research Service is conducting a research called Fertilizer Trial Research (FTR) aims at maximizing agricultural produce with the fertilizer type recommended for a particular area.

Speaking on Saturday at Nzokoto area, Traditional Authority T/A Mwankhunikira in Rumphi, Minister of Agriculture and food security Lobin Lowe said that the research is aimed at finding out the right fertilizer recommended for a particular area so that the farmers can maximize their agricultural produce after their crops get the right growth nutrients from the fertilizer they have applied to.

“My Ministry has discovered that many farmers fail to produce bumper yields because of they apply fertilizers to their crops which is not recommended for their area and this is a reason why we have embarked on this Fertilizer trial research so as to make sure that the farmers are applying fertilizers which is right and recommended for their area and have bumper harvests”, Said Lowe.

Lowe said time has now come where the country has to move from blanket approach of distributing fertilizer to a geographical mapping approach where farmers are supposed to use fertilizers recommended by the Ministry based on the research findings so as for them to have bumper yields of their farm produces.

He said “once this research is completed and in accordance with the National Fertilizer Policy I launched last Thursday, Fertilizer companies will be guided on blending these fertilizer components so as to suit specifications of soils across the country.

The Minister further said the time for casual farming is now over and farmers should now go into serious farming with modern methods so as for them to have profit.

He however, thanked people from Nzokoto area to be the first ones showing up the interest into the research promising them that his ministry is ready to commit itself in supporting them.

Apart from the fertilizer Trial Research, the Ministry is also committed to maximize the livestock production across the country.

Visiting Dwambazi Livestock farm in Lilongwe on the same day, Lowe said his ministry has plans to turn this farm into a Mega farm just to be in line with their Manifesto promises fulfillment.

He said as the Ministry they see it embracing for a farm of about 6000ha having livestock of 700 only therefore promising to buy some more live stocks and transferring some from other some small farms to this farm.

“I instructed the Director of Livestock and Animal health to consider transferring of 100 cattle’s from other livestock centers to this farm so the we should start engaging all stake holders to consider expanding processes of establishing a Mega Farm here as this will not bring economic benefit to government but also creating employment opportunities for our graduates who will be taken on board in assisting the management of the Mega Farm”, said Lowe.

Nzokoto is one of the areas where the Fertilizer Trial Research is being conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture across the country.

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