Features

Chongwe farmer in strawberry flavour

MR Sitolo Phiri in his grape vine in Chongwe

ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
SITOLO PHIRI, 49, a grape and strawberry farmer in Chongwe district has broken the record for being the first in his community to start growing these fruits using the technique of conservation farming.
With conservation agriculture, Mr Phiri applies minimal disturbance of the soil by only making holes in the soil, instead of making ridges for the purpose of planting.
This, he has learnt, allows for maximum retention of organic matter in the soil, therefore making it fertile. Minimum soil tillage also enables the soil to retain moisture, therefore the plants are able to survive long periods of dry spells. Mr Phiri also uses organic materials such as leaves, grass and crop residues to cover the top soil, thereby enhancing soil fertility. He has learnt that in conservation farming, one does not need to clear the field with fire, instead the farmer retains the residues from the previous harvest to create organic mature for the crops.
Mr Phiri says he got interested in grape and strawberry farming in 1999 when he started working for Watergreen Farms in Luanshya click here to read more

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