Manure and Seeds
COMPOSITE SEED AND COMPOSTED MANURE
The use of composite seed brings cost down dramatically. Composite seed is produced by growing hybrid varieties of maize alongside traditional maize plants.
The male flowers on the traditional plants are removed. This results in cross fertilisation with the hybrid plants, and the resulting seed produced by the plant is much improved – containing most of the qualities of the hybrid plant.
Instead of two applications of artificial fertiliser, cost can be further reduced by using composted manure (made of grass and goat droppings) for the first application, and supplying farmers with a government subsidised fertiliser voucher for the second application. This reduces the total cost of fertiliser from around £90 to just over £3.
Using composite seed and and separate applications of manure and artificial fertiliser, the entire cost of planting and fertilising an acre of land drops from around £100 to less than £5, and this technology can start to produce between 20 and 30 bags of maize per acre per year – more than enough to feed a small family, with enough left over for seed for the next growing season (the seed can be stored for 3 years) and other emergencies.
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW to read the final part of our story - how we share the things we learn, and encourage others to share their knowledge with their family, friends and neighbours, to produce sustainable farming for all.