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Why I Use Bokashi and Have Never Looked Back

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“My discovery of Bokashi compost fertiliser has created a great experience for me in farming. Farming seasons which before brought me anxiety and worry due to the high cost of inputs have now become an enjoyable activity,” says Jennipher Handondo.

Bokashi is a form of compost which is made from locally available resources including ash, grass, leaves, charcoal, maize bran, yeast and animal manure.

Jennipher is a smallholder farmer in Zambia’s Choma district located 300 Kilometres from the capital, Lusaka. She is one of the multipliers trained by PELUM Zambia in collaboration with the Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture and Agroecology in Southern Africa (KHSA) in 2022.

“The most important lesson for me during the training was on how to make Bokashi because I have struggled with sourcing fertilisers due to its high cost,” she said.

Jennipher, who also sells tree seedlings including fruit and decorative plants, said making her own bokashi after the training was priority and managed to make it in two weeks.

“I invited seven other people from my community to witness the bokashi making process and learn how to make it,” she said.

Jennipher said once it was ready, she used it in her seedlings as well as her vegetable garden.

“Everyone in my compound wanted to see how the plants were performing with the bokashi as fertiliser. The result was very good” she said.

“My plants and vegetable have no diseases and are growing very well. Despite the harsh weather conditions prevailing in Zambia, I only water two times a week because the bokashi helps to keep moisture in the soil,” she said.

Jennipher also started selling Bokashi at K50($1.8) per 25 kilogramme bag, which increased her income.

“I was very surprised at how much money I kept making from the bokashi sales. I was able to meet most of my daily needs from the sales I made,” Jennipher said.

She explained how the demand for bokashi made her realise how much of a change it had brought in the community in terms of lowering the cost of farming inputs and improving the fertility of the soil for increased production and productivity. 

Jennipher says she has been using the profits from the bokashi sales to buy more ingredients and make more bokashi.

What methods are you using to regenerate your soil?

Rabecca Mwila
Author: Rabecca Mwila

PELUM Zambia Communications Officer-KHSA Project

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