Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Influence of kraal manure on chemical soil fertility in the Northern Province of South Africa

Veronique DELANOTE student laureate

°1979 Belgium
Bio-engineer land and forest management, Universiteit Gent, Belgium, 2002

Invloed van kraalmest op de chemische bodemvruchtbaarheid in de Noordelijke Provincie van Zuid-Afrika

This research into kraal manure focused on the needs of small farmers in the poorest regions of South Africa. Kraal manure (*) is the only fertiliser option these farmers have, due to the inaccessibility of commercial mineral fertilisers. Based on participatory interviews with small farmers from three test villages in the study area, a general picture has been obtained of local farming practices, and more specifically the use of kraal manure. Moreover, through the analysis of soil and manure samples, the current fertility status of the soils and the relative value of kraal manure as a fertiliser were determined. The positive effect of kraal manure on soil fertility is clearly shown in this research. Moreover, kraal manure is of good quality, relatively cheap and easy to obtain, and is within the poor farmer’s reach. However, its use alone is insufficient to meet the phosphorus requirements of most crops. It is therefore recommended that, where possible, kraal manure should be combined with other phosphorus fertilisers. The research has also produced concrete recommendations for considerably improving the quality of kraal manure.
Finally, it is important that the small farmer has been very closely involved in this research right from the start. This obviously means that the adoption of the results will not be problematic.

(*) kraal: a traditional practice in South African agriculture in which animals (cattle, goats, chickens, etc) are rounded up in a confined space

report by Prof. S. Deckers, Soil and Water Laboratory, Katholieke Unversiteit Leuven, Belgium