TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBEEF Products aims to increase the use of organic compost in its crop division to lessen dependence on in-organic fertilisers through pioneering a composting project.
The project, which is in its third year promoting compost manure, saw the production of 400 tonnes last year and is expected to increase at its Huntley Farm in Chisamba.
Zambeef’s Huntley Farm general manager Francis Mondomona said the increase in production will depend on the availability of raw materials and demand on the farm.
“Sustainability is the major factor behind this initiative. Zambeef places high value on maintaining the integrity and quality of the soil. As an integrated agricultural entity, it makes good business sense-fertile soil when coupled with good cropping practices will then translate in better and higher yields,” Mr Mondomona said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Monday.
He said the success of the project indicates that it is possible to incorporate sustainable and conservation farming methods into a commercial farming operation such as Zambeef.
Composting of animal and other organic waste available at the farm is not only good for the environment, but works to reduce costs of farming inputs, savings are invested across the group.
And Zambeef Products arable crops manager Edward Njamba said apart from improving soil conditions, organic compost increases water retention capacity.
“The decomposition of the manure takes about three months depending on the temperature, when it’s hot it is a bit quicker, when it’s cooler it takes a bit longer, but on average it’s about three months. After we harvest the wheat, the straw goes to the chickens as bedding…they do the droppings on it…that is the manure, it all comes here, that is what we decompose,” Mr Njamba said.