Local farmers will be able to purchase and use non-toxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly organic fertilisers that increase agricultural productivity and have a high cost-benefit ratio.
Canadian-based organic fertiliser manufacturer, BioFert, and regional agents Eagle Eye Africa Ltd, yesterday, launched a range of 100% organic fertilizers, organic based fertilisers and nutrients, water soluble fertilizers and slow release fertilizers that will be availed to local farmers.
The products which include foliar fertilisers used in horticulture, fruit farming as well as earth boost granular soil amendment fertilisers, were introduced to the market in the presence of government officials and representatives of farmers from across the country.
Speaking at the function, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ernest Ruzindaza, said that the government welcomed the company and offered to create a conducive environment to operate and market the products.
“These are interesting products. The government is looking at ways of increasing yields especially in horticulture and we at the Ministry of Agriculture welcome this new initiative and innovations,” Ruzindaza said.
“We are pleased this company is investing in increasing the productivity of the agricultural sector. We will work with them and we hope they will also work with our research institutions to know which products can really support us in our quest to increase output.”
According to Yasir Syed, a plant nutritionist with BioFert, the foliar fertilisers despite being slightly more expensive than chemical fertilisers, have a high cost-benefit ration and don’t present any dangers to the environment.
Syed noted that there is an urgent need to balance science and nature, especially in the wake of global climate change, noting that while there cannot be an immediate switch from using chemical to organic fertilisers, there was need to use the latter because they don’t degrade the environment.
“Chemical fertilisers present environmental challenges. The world is already facing serious environment and agriculture consequences, a growing population, declining per acre production…..”
“…Ever increasing production pressure per unit of land, rapidly depleting soils unable to support production requirements, increasing cost of input. All these require long term solutions that present no risk to the environment,” Syed said.
Once applied, the fertilisers are expected to increase the volume of export cash crops as well as staple food production and boost food security.
According to Imran Morani, the Director of Eagle Eye Africa, the organic fertilisers which are mainly applied through water can increase fertiliser efficiency by 30% and also increase the yield by 40%, compared to powder chemical fertilisers.
“In terms of affordability, I would say yes, it’s worth it compared to the results and efficiency because organic fertilisers do not come in tonnes. A small package can be applied on a huge farm and the results are tremendous, with savings on the cost of application of up to 30%,” Morani said
He noted that regular application of high quality humic acid fertilisers will not only help farmers increase output by a large margin, but in the long term, it also boosts the soil fertility as it adds nutrients into the soil without degrading the environment.
Morani said that in future, the firm intends to set a manufacturing plant in the country to avoid importing the organic products since 70% of the products needed to manufacture can be locally obtained as well as the labour needed.
He, however, noted that in the meantime, the company will import and set up local distribution points. Eagle Eye is investing about US$1.8m to enter the Rwandan market.
According to Mudendeli Sylvere from Rwanda Organic Agriculture Movement (ROAM), the organic fertilisers will not only go a long way in boosting production output but also add value to harvests particularly for export crops.
“Most countries that want our exports prefer products that are less of chemicals, so this gives us an upper hand. Most countries have switched to organic farming and hopefully these plus our organic manure, we can have an edge on most countries in terms of quality,” Mudendeli said.
BioFert was established in August 2006 and it manufactures high efficacy, non-toxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly fertilizers and soil amendments for use in commercial farming and home gardening.
The company manufactures a wide range of specialized nutrients and supplements in both liquid and granular form which include 100% crop specific and general purpose products.