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Young Thokozani sees a twilight of bumper harvest after using organic fertilizer making skills learnt from the Milimo Activity

Thokozani Hitila is a young man, aged 34 whose story demonstrates USAID’s commitment to youth development through capacity building support. Thokozani who hails from Anaatani village, GVH Kambewa, TA Masumbankhunda is married and raising his four children. His occupation is farming, and he owns a two-hector maize farm which is his source of food and income. However, according to Thokozani, he hasn’t been harvesting the desired quality and quantities because he doesn’t afford buying fertilizer. “Most of the times, almost three quarters of the maize die and I harvest very little which doesn’t carter for the whole year”, said Thokozani.

In 2023, Thokozani was one of the community members that participated in a manure making training by the USAID funded Milimo Local Capacity Building Activity. The locally made fertilizer production training was facilitated by the Mangochi-based NACC which was also trained by Milimo on the same and they were asked to cascade such skills to Chamadzi CBO. This activity aimed at strengthening the capacity of the CBO on Local Resource Mobilization as demanded by the CBO. According to the Director of the CBO, Clifford Luwinga, they decided to invite interested community members to learn such skills and Thokozani was one of the people that showed up.

PHOTO: 34-year-old Thokozani Hitila at his maize farm, which is almost ready for harvest, having applied locally made organic fertilizer

“Most of the people in our community cannot afford buying the factory-made fertilizer at the shop so the training was important for us because we rely heavily on farming”, said Luwinga. The training, which was conducted from 30th October to 3rd November 2023, opened the eyes of Thokozani to see the importance of some locally available materials include human wastes like urine. “We use things like urine and other wastes and mix them with a little of the factory-made fertilizer to come up with very good manure… I’ve applied this in my farm and this year oooh, trust me I’ll harvest a lot!” Thokozani expressed his expectation with much excitement on his face.

Thokozani said that he is expecting to harvest not less than 100 bags of maize this year unlike in some past years where he usually managed to harvest about 20 bags which were not enough for selling and for food. He thanked the Milimo activity supported by USAID for giving him such skills which he needed most to keep supporting his family economically.


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