To Train and established compost with farmers in Mt Muaneguba landscape Cameroon:
Training and establishing of compost was organized in November 2016. Compost is made from any organic material. That is, it is made from any part of an organism, plant or animal, that contains carbon. Compost also requires a source of nitrogen, oxygen, and water, plus other variety of elements. Usually these elements are found in organic material, including phosphorus, copper, potassium, calcium, and others. Natural fertilizer has the three main components of a good fertile soil. The components are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). These components are found in abundant quantity in natural fertilizer with little or no cost as compare to chemical fertilizer which has the same components but has a negative effect on amphibians and other threatened species (pollution) and very expensive to afford.
Natural fertilizer is made up of humus. Compost is a dark-brown substance produced by the biological decomposition of organic waste. Compost as organic manure will go a long way to solve the problem of excessive use of chemical fertilisers in their farms. From our field observation and investigation we realized that threatened amphibians that seek refuge in farms of these farmers are killed by poisonous chemical the farmers use as fertilizer to improve on their soil fertility. Compost has NPK an important element in the soil, provides humus, and helps the soil hold water and air.
Materials used to make compost include:The most common raw materials used to make compost are yard wastes such as grass clippings, leaves, animal waste (Fowl, pig and cow waste), weeds, wastes from house hold and small pruning from shrubs and trees. Most home garden compost piles and municipal compost facilities use yard wastes exclusively because of the large volume of materials available.
In order for the organic materials to combine with the other materials and decompose into compost, several living organisms and microorganisms are needed. These include sowbugs, which help digest the materials and transport bacteria; earthworms, which aerate the materials with their tunnels; a variety of fungi, which help digest decay-resistant cellulose; mold-like bacteria called actinomycetes, which attack raw plant tissues; and many others. A site was selected with the following conditions:
· Should be accessible to receive composting materials, frequent watching/ monitoring and follow up.
· The site should be protected from strong winds
· The site should be free from flood or runoff.
A pit of 50cm to 1 meter deep, 1-1.5 meter in length, 1-1.5 meters wide is dug and the wastes are used to establish compost having different layers of the wastes. Dry plant materials for example strong straw and stalks of maize and sorghum which are thick and long are used for the foundation. The stalks can be crushed to give a layer of 10-25 cm. These materials are spread evenly at the bottom of the pit, and then sprinkle water over the dry materials to moisten them. In the first layer a long stick is placed at the centre of the hole to enable water and oxygen to circulate at different layers. The next layer is the layer of green plant materials. They are either fresh or wilted for example weeds or grass, plants from clearing a pathway, stems and leaves especially from agroforestry tree such as Acasia, Leucaena and Challiandra. The layer of fresh harvested plants should be 20-25 cm think and water is not sprinkle in this layer. The third layer is made up of animal collection fresh or dry. These materials include cow dung, horse, mole or donkey manure, sheep, goat, and fowl droppings. These could be mixed with soil or old compost to produce a layer of 1-4 cm thick. The layers are added un till the pit is full to the top to a dome shape. Finally, after the pit is filled it is covered with plantains or banana leaves or plastic to ensure that moisture stay inside the pit and rain does not damage the decomposition process. After a month of filling the pit, the compost could be turned over and checked prepared for use. Finally:
-Fifty people were trained on compost establishment.
-Five composts were established in Muabi, Mualong, Muasum, Mbat and Ekambeng in Kupe-Muanenguba.
Farmers trained on how to establish compost in the project site