Biofertilizers in Faba Bean, Abere’s farm, Rema

Abere is 70 years old farmer who leases about 0,5 hectares of clay farm land at an slope in the remote village of Rema, Ethiopia. She walks everyday on her bare foot observing the growth of her crop for many years and doing all the manual weeding. As chemical fertilizer was too expensive for her, she never applied it. With the years her land has lost its fertility. SAM_0526 beans woth mama abere Moved by the experiment on organic fertilizers in Rema, she wanted to try them at her farm. The family owns 2 cows and 2 Cebu’s and 2 oxes that provide for milk and work power to plough the land. Before the bio-fertilizer program the family dried some dung and sold it as fuel for the kitchens the rest of the dung was disposed. This is common in Ethiopia. Now most of the dung is used to produce ferments that improve the land the farm and support the growth of at the family’s kitchen garden, pepper, garlic and potato’s and also for the farm to produce beans and barley. Experience on Faba bean. Abere grows barley and faba bean. On 400m2 barley she applied Bocashi 1,5 ton/ha en on 800m2 Faba bean she made 3 applications of liquid bio-fertilizer, at the stages of seedling stage, flowering, fruiting. In the whole cycle faba beans she applied a total of 10l of liquid fertilizer produced at their home and spread in three applications. SAM_0976Abere described the crop development with enthusiasm. Her son took pictures to illustrate the development of this crop. Faba beans showed good growth and vigour. The flowering and fruiting was supported by the addition of self-made potash fertilizer. Abere was impressed with the flowering and the number of pods per plant. She was happy to get 1 or 2 pods per flowering bud. This year she was getting up to 6. And each plant gave her between 7 and 9 buds. This means that each plant gave between 80 and 90 pods. Without any fertilization, the harvest of faba beans was in the past between 100 and 200 kg in 800 m2 (2,5 ton/ha). With self-made fertilizers, she got 500 kg (6,2 ton/ha). This was beyond her expectations and harvesting was a celebration. The cost of this fertilizer was only the preparation of the fertilizers because all materials are available at the village. She produced all she needed with no investment and did not need any financial support. Production of fertilizer cost her 3 days of extra work in the season. More and more farmers are interested in these fertilizers and want to learn about how to produce them and try them at their farms.