For the first time in Africa – Uganda in particular, producer organisations are now engaged in the use of efficient indigenous or mountain soil microorganisms in the preparation of organic fertilizers. The technique has provided producers with an alternative solution of low cost to rebuild their farm soil nutrition and biodiversity in order to increase crop yields and quality of their produce.
The technique is based on reproducing beneficial soil microorganisms which are readily found in uncultivated fertile soils. They are then incorporated in the preparation of liquid fertilizers (Bio-ferments or Bioles) and solid organic fertilizers (Bokashi). These fertilizers provide a constant supply of soil nutrients and uptake by crops and at the same time increase soil biodiversity of beneficial microorganisms thus boosting crop resistance to pathogens and pests.
This year (2010) Progreso Program has made it possible for smallholder farmers in Uganda – Africa to acquire knowledge and skills related to this technique to improve soil fertility and crop yields. This pilot project is being implemented by Agro Eco Louis Bolk-Eastern African. Currently two coffee producer organisations in Uganda, namely: Nsangi Coffee Farmers Association – NCFA in Wakiso district involved in production of Robusta coffee and Community Organised Farmers From Elgon- Arabica -Coffee Uganda Programme – COFFEE A CUP producing Arabica coffee in Bududa district in the highland of mountain Elgon, are pioneers of this technique in Africa. The project is expected to expand to other parts in Africa involving dozens of producer organisations and providing them with sustainable solutions to rejuvenate their soils in order to obtain better quality produce thus improve their household incomes. See pictures attached.