THINKING BIG, STARTING SMALL

Our Founder scoops US$20,000 Global D-Prize Award

Our founder Madalitso Chidumu has emerged one of the winners of US$20,000 D-Prize Global Award. The award is given to successful winners of innovations in different technologies.

With the award we will solve a fertilizer challenge by teaching and promoting Fertilizer Micro Dosing Technology to small holder farmers which directly solves land degradation issues and increases yields.

The concept submitted to D-Prize states that land degradation in southern Africa has substantial environmental, social and economic costs. Majority of Malawians live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and national surveys estimate that crop production accounts for 74 percent of all rural incomes.

However, farmers are often unable to invest in soil nutrients because they are increasingly costly and often inaccessible. Knowledge among small holder farmers about what inputs to use and how to apply them effectively I limited. Malawian farmers use small amount of fertilizer which is applied to only a portion of their land, perpetuating the significant soil nutrient deficiencies leading to low yields.

The prize will be used for “Patsogo ndi ulimi” project which will work with farmers to increase yields of small-holder farmers by over 50% and promote a green environment through the promotion of fertilizer micro-dosing.

Micro-dosing is a highly efficient technique that minimizes the application of and over reliance on chemical fertilizer. It involves the application of small quantities of fertilizer onto or close to the seed.

The project will use an innovative education method of Lead Farmers approach to distribute the technology to reach farmers. Lead Farmers are progressive farmers (community volunteers) in the community that pilot different innovations on their farmers while teaching other farmers in the process. One lead farmer has an average of 20 farmers that learn from his farm.

The project will recruit and provide training to 100 lead farmers who will reach out to 20 farmers with fertilizer micro-dosing training by the end of one year and over 10,000 farmers over 5 years.

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