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Want to reduce production cost by up to 60%? Try CA.

From the calculations, Eunice used to spend over KShs. 80,000/- on her 6-acre farm just on land preparation and weed control. However, after learning of CA and realizing that she can cut costs by up to 60%, she didn’t hesitate to adopt. She has managed to reduce production costs to only KShs. 30,000/- saving up to KShs. 50,000/- on land preparation and weed control alone.

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a farming practice that comprises three main principles namely; minimum tillage, crop residue retention (soil cover) and crop rotation. CA has over time proven to not only increase the productivity of the farm but also significantly reduce production costs. It is one of the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) interventions since it enables farmers to increase food production while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also guarantees some level of resilience against shocks brought about by climate change.

 

Earn KSh. 312, 000 from 6 acres in 5 months.

Madam Eunice Mwaura a CA farmer from Molo Sub County, Elburgon ward. She was introduced to CA by Mr. Joseph Turungi who doubles up as a CA mechanization service provider (MSP) and a Farmer Service Centre (FSC). Mr. Turungi was trained on CA by Participatory Approached for Integrated Development (PAFID), an implementing partner of the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA). FtMA is a consortium of six agri-focused organizations (AGRA, Bayer, Rabo Bank, Syngenta, WFP and Yara) that came together to walk the journey with smallholder farmers from land preparation up to the market.

MSP Joseph Turungi provided the service of ripping (minimum tillage) her land while FSC Alex Macharia does the monitoring, linkages and advice on GAPs.

Eunice normally sells her produce at horticultural maturity (green maize) which results to her selling the left-over maize stalks to livestock farmers for silage making. This deprives her farm of the much-needed crop residue to act as permanent soil cover. This has resulted in accelerated soil erosion and excessive evaporation making it difficult to do a second crop toward the end of the year (second season) which means she has not been practicing crop rotation which is a very important principle of conservation agriculture. This particular year, she was advised by PAFID Field Officer in Nakuru to consider practicing crop residue retention and crop rotation which she has done.

Cost of Production

From the calculations, Eunice used to spend over KShs. 80,000/- on her 6-acre farm just on land preparation and weed control. However, after learning of CA and realizing that she can cut costs by up to 60%, she didn’t hesitate to adopt. She has managed to reduce production costs to only KShs. 30,000/- saving up to KShs. 50,000/- on land preparation and weed control alone.

“Maize under CA grows faster than that under conventional farming” Madam Eunice attests. This enables her to sell her green maize within 5-6 months freeing up her farm earlier for a rotational crop hence fulfilling the third principle of CA.

While doing conventional farming, it would take her up to 6-8 months depending on the variety of the maize. Molo being a high-altitude region it takes maize 8 months to reach physiological maturity.

 

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