Milala Organic Fertilizer Making Project
Project Launch: 6-7-19
The "Empower Community Development Initiative (ECODI)" organization was founded in 2017 and has already built an under-five clinic and launched a Keep Girls in School initiative. Through the clinic for pregnant women and children under-five, the community recognized a need to reduce malnutrition among children. This project is focused on making Organic Fertilizer, both to improve their own crop yeilds and to sell as an income-generating tool. They will use the grant for trainings and materials, starting with materials for 10 farmers, who will each in turn create 10 more bags of fertilizer to share and sell. The increased crop yields will be used to supplement children's nutrition and surplus crops can be sold at market to generate income.
Project Update: 11-26-19
With the $753.42 Local Works Accelerator Grants Competition funding, Empower Community Development Initiative (ECODI) has completed the training of 25 farmers in the production of organic fertilizer out of the planned 10 representing 150% increase in the number of farmers reached. A total of 62 bags of fertilizer have been produced by the trainees out of which two bags have been used in a demonstration vegetable garden. Produce is being consumed at home and sold to established markets such as Mnjiri Secondary School to generate income for the members. 50 bags of fertilizer have been distributed to all the 25 farmers to use in the upcoming season as one way of motivating other farmers outside of the group to use the product. The last ten bags have been reserved for use in the maize demonstration plot which aims to showcase the power of fertilizer to farmers in the area. Empower Community Development Initiative (ECODI) will monitor the project throughout the rainy season and hold an agricultural fair towards the end to demonstrate how farmers will benefit from using this low cost technology.
Final Report: 3-10-20
Empower Community Development Initiative (ECODI) received $753.42 to test production of locally made organic fertilizer in Mzimba, Malawi. ECODI trained 25 farmers in the production of organic fertilizer, fifteen more than the planned ten people, and produced 65 bags of fertilizer. From the 65 bags of fertilizer produced, each member received two bags for their maize and vegetable productions while the group has also established a one acre maize field to test the workability of the fertilizer. The group is monitoring the performance in the field which so far is highly promising. Proceeds from the sale of the maize will be used to start a savings and loans group and to raise awareness on the use of the manure in the surrounding members.
Maria Nyirenda, a community participant says “the most significant change in my life with this project is that I have learned to make my own organic fertilizers using largely locally available resources. This year I have grown maize using the same organic fertilizers. Next growing season I plan to expand my maize garden as now I will be making my own fertilizers. I was limited in crop production and farming due to exorbitant fertilizer prices. This project will go a long way in ensuring my household and many of my fellow beneficiaries to be food secure.”