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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Farmers advised to ensure they use fertilizer appropriately

By Bob Aston
Farmers in Sipili Division in Laikipia County have been urged to ensure that they use correct fertilizer in farming. Speaking during a meeting on February 7, 2014 convened by Laikipia Produce and Marketing Co-operative Society, Daniel Ndegwa from MEA Ltd said proper use of fertilizer will enable the farmers to increase food production.

Ndegwa told the farmers that in order to enjoy high crop yield, then it is imperative to use fertilizer. He said that fertilizer use will enable the farmers to increase crop yield, improve poor quality land, improve soil texture, recycle nitrogen and introduce essential bacteria as well as enabling crops to grow faster.
Ndegwa addressing some of the farmers


Ndegwa said that when fertilizer is properly applied, it will create the perfect environment for crops to grow healthfully and quickly. One bag of fertilizer should be able to earn a farmer close to 20 bags of maize.
Ndegwa informed the farmers that MEA Ltd has eliminated middle men in order to work directly with farmers so as to ensure that they get genuine fertilizer. Currently a bag of MEA fertilizer is retailing at Ksh 3,000.
We want to ensure that quality is observed and also that farmers do not get fake fertilizer,” said Ndegwa.
MEA Ltd is a private company that supplies farm inputs to farmers for the purpose of improving crop production and hence accelerate agricultural development in Kenya.
Ndegwa said that MEA Ltd is currently working on a fertilizer which will be able to neutralize acidic soils. He said leaching due to excessive rainfall or irrigation normally causes soil to be acidic as key nutrients are normally washed out when there is too much water.
Ndegwa and other MEA Ltd officials follow proceedings
”We are working on a new fertilizer that will also contain calcium and magnesium. When you use fertilizer well you will be able to get good returns,” said Ndegwa.
Calcium helps to maintain chemical balance in the soil, reduces soil salinity and improves water penetration as well as neutralizing cell acids. Magnesium is used by plants for the metabolism of carbohydrates and in the cell membrane stabilization.
”Our work is to ensure that farmers get good returns. We are the only fertilizer company in Kenya that gives farmers advisory services and also conduct soil analysis. This makes us to be proud of our work,” said Ndegwa.
Ndegwa said that they are investing heavily in ensuring that farmers get the correct type of fertilizer. MEA Ltd has set up a testing centre where they carry out soil analysis for farmers as well as having a state of the art fertilizer production facility in Nakuru.
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