In Summary
  • I attended a seminar which encouraged us to stop using fertiliser, and start using manure instead, for better production.

  • At 8pm that Friday evening, Tocla and I went to school to pick the manure. To our shock and awe, it was all gone.

Although I don’t make money from farming, I am one of the highly respected farmers in Mwisho wa Lami.

Unlike other farmers who just use the traditional methods to plant maize, I am one of those who tries out new crops, or new farming methods.

I may not have grown rich from it, but you can be sure of one thing, I always have maize and beans all year round, with enough to give to petty neighbours and lazy relatives. Fiolina sells it sometime, although I have never seen the money!

Early this year, I attended a seminar which encouraged us to stop using fertiliser, and start using manure instead, for better production. I was keen to implement this.

MANURE

There was one problem though: I reared no cattle in my home, and could therefore not freely get manure. I could have asked my father for some, but I chose not to, unless I wanted the whole of Mwisho wa Lami to know about it.

My initial plan was to buy some, but when I asked around, I found it was too expensive, and that was before transporting it.

With the rains almost starting, I realised I did not have enough time to keep sourcing for manure, but then I got an idea that could easily work in my favour.

“All boys should come tomorrow with a gorogoro of dry cow dung,” I announced on evening parade three weeks ago, a few days after my ‘handshake’ with Bensouda.

EARLY BIRD

The next day, all the boys brought cow dung, and they all put it in a mound behind the classes. It was a fairly good amount, but not enough for the piece of land I had leased from Hitler.

“Although cow dung is good, the most nutritious manure is that from chicken droppings or goat manure,” I remembered our trainer saying.

I could not just ask all the students to bring it as it was rare, but I devised a new way to get it, however little. Two weeks ago, I started arriving at school early, and would close the gate at around 7.30am.

Any student who was late would find their name on the late comers list. We also had noise makers.

As punishment, they each had to bring half a gorogoro of goat manure or chicken droppings to be admitted back to school.

PLANTING SEASON

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