TRAINING ON HOW TO PREPARE AND
USE ORGANIC MANURE(BOKASHI)
Written and submitted by -
Atomba Tegwi Titus
NOWEPFA COOP- BOD - Cameroon
P O Box 729 - Bamenda
This training was organized by North west pig farmers cooperative on the invitation of Charity mixed farming group, an enthusiastic group of farmers involved in a variety of agriculture and livestock farming practices.
After the first day of training, they became so interested with the work of the pig cooperative and so registered immediately with the cooperative as full members. They will be putting in their share capital in the month of September 2019 as promised by their group delegate.
It will be important to note hear that the inspiration of the group to invite the cooperative came from one member, Mr. Mbaku Walters who had attended one of the previous training workshop organized by the cooperative on the making of bokashi.
The brain behind this technology is knowledge acquired from the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) by the project coordinator of the pig cooperative, Mr. Atomba Tegwi Titus. The training workshop took place on Friday 19th July 2019 in the neigborhood of Ntaturu quarter in Mankon Village, Bamenda 2 sub division, Mezam division of the North West region of Cameroon.
As it has been the case in previous trainings, we buy rice husk, corn flour and prepare a culture of indigenous micro-organisms (IMOs) as well as rice husk charcoal before the actual day of training. This is usually done, not far from the beneficiary farmers such that they too can witness the activity either at the start or at the finishing moment.
For this training, on Friday 12th July 2019, half a glass of boiled rice kept to cool, was buried in the natural forest area in the neighborhood of the farm land belonging to Charity mixed Farming group in Ntaturu quarter. One week after, on the scheduled day of training, members come to witness the removal from the soil of the IMOs, in a dish that contained the boiled rice (see picture 8 & 9 bellow)
For the preparation of rice husk charcoal, a burner instrument fabricated by the cooperative, taking example from the Asian Rural Institute model, was used(Photo 1). After lighting and covering the fire with the burner, rice husk was then poured on it as you can see in photos 2&3 .
It was allowed to burn throughout the night of Thursday 18th July 2019 and in the morning, what was found is what you can see in photo 4 while photo 5 show how we spread the charcoal to make it cool faster. Photo 6 is a bucket full of the charcoal ready for use at the training ground.
5 6 7
REMOVAL OF IMO CULTURE FROM THE SOIL
As said earlier, first thing in the morning was to go for the removal of the IMOs from the soil, photos 8 & 9 in the natural forest. Before starting the training a prayer was made, (photo 10) asking God for protection as we are carrying out the activity during a period of sociopolitical crisis and listening to the sounds of gun shots from a distance.
We could only guarantee our security with the fact that we were a little far from the town center, on the outskirts of the risk zone where confrontation between government forces and the separatist was prevalent and often heard.
Some farmers used exercise book and pen to record their learning while others, like the Charity Mixed Farmers group delegate used an android phone to record the teaching as well as take photos of the whole process from start to finish.
We began by introducing the team from the cooperative to members of the host group. They were the cooperative board chair person Mr. Nju Charles, Madame Neh Martina, Mr. Nwachan Justice and the project coordinator and trainer Mr. Atomba T. Titus.
In his opening words, the cooperative board chair person greeted all the farmers and thanked them for taking the risk to attend the workshop despite all the gun firing. He promised them that they will not regret their time spent for the training.
He also noted that in the days ahead another similar training will be coming up soon especially as food security is what we need to fight for in time of crisis and hardship as we are currently experiencing in our country.
It all started with an introduction of all the ingredients involved in the making of bokashi as the were all displayed in front, photo 11 & 12 above. The ingredients were ;- wheel barrow full of soil, bucket(20 liters) of corn flour, bucket of rice husk charcoal, bucket of dry pig feces( advisable to use fowl droppings if available) because the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content (nutritive value) is higher than in other animal feces, IMOs and water.
Black spots in the culture of IMOs are bad organisms, so can be removed and discarded while using only the white mold (IMOs). See photo 13 as we identify the black spots to eliminate from the dish. Mrs. Neh Martina reminds the participants on the need to have a proper knowledge of the 6 ingredients involved in the process photo 14.
The ingredients were all poured to the soil and with the use of a spade, mixed thoroughly while sprinkling water to the mixture and then testing its moisture content with a grip of the soil with the hand.
If a glumb is formed upon a hand grip, then its moisture content is okay. The turning with a spade then continuous for another two or three more time depending on how many times it takes to give a homogenous mixture. See photos 15 &16
At the end of the turning process, the mixture is then covered with material that will not allow light penetration but will allow ventilation /oxygen and permit evaporation of water released by the heat as a result of the IMOs fermentation process occurring beneath.
In this training, we used animal feed bags in doubled layers.
Because, the journey from the cooperative to Ntaturu is about 3 kilometers, it was not possible for the entire cooperative team to be witnessing the daily turning process that was t o last for another one week, so the trainer/project coordinator of the cooperative witnessed the turning after each day. Photo 18 shows the development of more IMOs on the 21st July, a day after the training and photo 19 show the turning process by one of the Charity Mixed farming group members.
A steam of vapor can be seen clearly rising from the hip of soil before and during the turning, photos 18 & 19. On the 23rd July, the amount of IMOs multiplied triple fold and the heat equally increased drastically, see photos 20 & 21. After this day a declined in the heat produced and the IMOs produce was noticed and on the 25th July, a cooling was noticed and that was indicative of the maturity/readiness of the mixture.
The group members jointly went there and spread out to air the bokashi mixture on the floor. It was later on bagged and kept ready to be used for planting with rice husk charcoal as recommended.
The team that did the turning on 23rd July, photos 22 & 23; ended up hatching another immediate project for charity mixed farming group our of extreme excitement as we must confess.
Not far from their farm area, they provided material that the cooperative project coordinator/ trainer should help them produce a burner which they will be using to produce their own rice husk charcoal. Within a couple of hours, that was done and the member decided to organize a small party to celebrate the fabrication of their work tool/equipment.
Photos 24 & 25 is the fabrication of the burner. Using zinc sheet to produce the smoke pipe. Photo 26 is the opening of wine to entertain the guest during the fabrication process. Photos 27 is the eating of fresh maize prepared by Mr. mbaku Walter's wife to entertain the guests as well.
Photos 28, 29, and 30 are a show of the celebration. With the tossing of wine for the health and prosperity of the pig cooperative the equipment was baptized and named, "Modern Ankara".
In our regular tropical farms, when dry grass is folded in hips, covered with soil and lighted with fire beneath, that planting position which is seen with soil above and charcoal bellow ready for planting is locally known as "ankara".
Two days after this exercise, the members bought rice husk from a local rice mill and prepared their own rice husk charcoal and that same day, buried some cooked rice for another IMO culture in preparation for another bokashi making exercise.
One of them was quick to say he knows of some one making money from bokashi instead of sharing the knowledge with farmers in a training as the pig cooperative has done. They all appreciated the gesture of the cooperative in carrying out the training.
(see photos 31,32, 33 &34 below)
Mobile Livestock Group members get involved in the cultivation of 2019 dry season maize and beans.
During the hoeing process cassava and potatoes of the previous year was being harvested. The stakes seen in the photos bellow are for the climbing beans. Planting, hoeing and staking is going on simultaneously.
As you can see in the photos bellow, the cooperative project coordinator has been the secretary general of the Mbomassa quarter council for over 15 years and has served in that capacity with 3 different quarter-heads of Mbomassa quarter where the cooperative head office is situated.
To be more precise, the head office is in zone 3. In his capacity as councellor for Mbomassa Zone 3, the cooperative project coordinator invited the entire quarter members to come out for the cleaning of some quarter roads on Mondays, takning advantage of the fact that the seperatist have declared all Mondays as ghost town days during this period of sociopolitical crisis.
Therefore all business premises remain closed and people stay at home. Photos 35, 36, 37 & 38 are showing community work on the Mbomassa inter-quarter road. This has happen on several Mondays already and we now have better roads than before.
The training workshop on the making of bokashi was sponsored partly by the cooperative and partly by the beneficiary group, Charity Mixed farming.
The attendance for this training did not reflect the expectations due to the insecurity that reign in the morning of the training day as gun firing was heard in the closest neighborhood.
Another Training will be scheduled in the days ahead for another group when deemed necessary and feasible so those who couldn't attend this training for one reason or the other will be invited to attend the next one.
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