Tea for the soil: How manure tea feeds the soil

| December 7, 2015

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This week’s story from Malawi shows how farmers are using tobacco residues to fertilize their soil. In Rwanda, the soil is becoming more and more exhausted and infertile. Because it is worked every year, the soil is getting tired and yields are poor. To rejuvenate the soil, farmers must use organic and chemical fertilizers. But some farmers can’t afford chemical fertilizers and do not have the resources to make compost or collect manure.

To address this issue, a farmer named Alphonsine Nyirambanjinka applies icyayi in her field. Icyayiis a word that means “tea” in Kinyarwanda, the main language in Rwanda. The tea is made from ash, herbs, water, and chicken waste. Ms. Nyirambanjinka is enthusiastic about its capacity to rejuvenate her soil.

This script highlights the research that farmers conduct themselves every year to improve the fertility of their soils and the yield of their crops.