Climate change has devastating effects to farmers in arid and semi-arid regions depending on rainfall for agricultural production.
To mitigate the water stress in agriculture, Tom Okinda from Mundika region in Busia County, has been practicing mulching.Tom started farming in 2007 after job retrenchment. Due to limited water, he started applying organic mulch on his crops and noticed how beneficial this practice was.
Mulching is the technique of covering the soil surface around the plant with an organic mulch.
Tom uses vegetative matter such as grass, leaves and pruning obtained from slashing his compound as well as saw dust and crop residues.
In the farm, Tom has planted cassava, beans and kales vegetable. He applied mulch on his cassava crops after four weeks of planting. Ever since, he has only weeded once.
Benefits of mulching
Mulching conserves soil moisture and reduces evapotranspiration.
Vegetative matter used in mulching decomposes to increase soil organic matter.
Organic mulches can suppress weeds hence controlling weeds.
Mulching also prevent soil erosion.
Tom believes that through implementing mulching practice, other neighboring farms will begin to emulate and there with be a shift to conservation agriculture.
Written By;Mercyline Tata