Cheap Ways of Building Capacity of Small Scale Farmers

Matt Somers By Matt Somers, 22nd Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Supply Chains, Procurement & Logistics

Climate change, together with the limited capacity of small scale farmers in South Africa, is having a direct impact on food prices.

Cheap Ways of Building Capacity of Small Scale Farmers

Global food security is under threat. Climate change, together with the limited capacity of small scale farmers in South Africa, is having a direct impact on food prices. In 2011 alone, the cost of basic foodstuffs increased by a whopping 10.6 percent!

Since freedom, there has been a concerted drive to encourage and incentivise small scale farmers in South Africa, a move applauded by the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research institute dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable world.

Organic, Small Scale Farming a New Generation Solution

Although organic farming on a small scale is viewed as a new generation solution to global food woes, many small scale farmers lack the knowledge, innovation, funding and technology to increase productivity.

Agricultural Lime

A common practice, largely overlooked by small scale farmers, is the use of low cost agricultural lime. Notwithstanding the diverse benefits of lime application:

- as a soil conditioner that arrests and prevents soil acidity
- as a source of essential plant nutrients including calcium and magnesium
- as a general ‘tonic’ or lime fertiliser that improves the overall standard of the soil

farmers continue to struggle to produce crops on poorly drained acidic soils.

Challenges Facing Small Scale Farmers

A general lack of information regarding the efficacy of lime in agriculture, a dearth of proper soil sampling to ascertain the pH of the soil, and the perceived difficulty in sourcing and obtaining quality agricultural and feed lime are some of the reasons quoted as to why small scale farmers do not use lime as an organic, cost effective and sustainable soil enhancer.

It’s Official - Lime Enhances Crop Yields

One way to build capacity is to convince rural farmers of the effectiveness of lime application. Recent studies conducted on trail plots in rural Zambia showed the addition of 500 kg of agricultural lime per hectare increased:

- the groundnut yield by seven times to 320 kg per hectare
- the maize yield threefold to 6.7 tons per hectare

Teach, Inspire & Build Capacity through Liming

If small scale farmers in South Africa are to reach their full potential by improving crop yields - thereby producing more food for their families and generating extra income - they have to be taught the benefits of enhancing the quality of soils through lime application.

Sourcing Quality Agricultural Lime Suppliers

With sizeable reserves of high quality lime located throughout South Africa, and the government committed to providing a helping hand to emerging farmers, there’s a significant incentive for small scale farmers to up their productivity.
Amongst major agricultural lime suppliers and distributors - with depots and mine sites located right across the country – are the likes of South Africa Lime & Gypsum (SAKG).

Tags

Agricultural Lime, Agricultural Lime Suppliers, Feed Lime, Lime, Lime Fertiliser

Meet the author

author avatar Matt Somers
I love reading and writing about different topics. I'm interested in anything to do with art, history, travel and sports.

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Comments

author avatar arman123
27th Dec 2011 (#)

good article MATT .

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author avatar ittech
15th Jan 2012 (#)

nice piece, Matt .

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