NAFAKA project brings new fertilizer technology to Zanzibar rice

25Jul 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
Financial Times
NAFAKA project brings new fertilizer technology to Zanzibar rice

Using fertilizer continues to be one of the best ways to improve crop yields for smallholder farmers.

The $15,000 (about 34m/-) factory now produces three tonnes of briquettes daily and supplies 1,000 tonnes of briquettes to Zanzibar farmers each year. File photo

Higher yields mean higher incomes for these farmers, who apply farming technology, like fertilizer, to improve their crops, earn more money, and provide more food for their families, many of whom are at risk of food insecurity.

One technology introduced to the Zanzibar was urea deep placement (UDP). UDP involves placing briquettes of urea, a colourless, crystalline fertilizer, deep below the soil surface by hand or using a machine. Placing it near the plants’ roots prevents the fertilizer from evaporating or washing away in run-off.

In 2013, the Feed the Future Tanzania Staples Value Chain (NAFAKA) project, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, teamed up with the Zanzibar Rice Agricultural Institute to run a trial using UDP with rice farmers in Zanzibar’s Pemba and Unguja islands.

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