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July 27, 2008

New organic fertiliser introduced in Uganda

A new fertiliser has been introduced to boost crop production. "It retains 100% nutrients in the soil and helps to increase yields, sometimes up to 60%," says John Magnay, a distributor of the product.

TwinN is formed by freeze-drying naturally occurring microbes, which are extracted from plants and cultivated in a laboratory. The process ensures the microbes are preserved at their optimum potency.

TwinN can be used instead of or in addition to reduced applications of chemical nitrogen. TwinN works both within the plant and around the root zone by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is easily available to plants.It has been used on wheat, barley, maize, grass, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables with great success.

Mix 40kgs of TwinN to 100 litres of non-chlorinated water for a hectare of crops. Fourty kilogrammes of Twin N cost $50 (about sh80,750).

TwinN will help build fertility in depleted soil as the farmer continues with production.

Magnay says TwinN is also expected to help farmers cut the cost of purchasing fertilisers because it is cheaper than its synthetic equivalent.

Speaking at the launch of TwinN in Kampala recently, Magnay said: "TwinN is useful for organic farmers, who do not have enough on-farm manure."

Its production does not impact on the environment, unlike chemically sourced nitrogen that uses fossil fuel in its manufacture.

Richard Stonewigg of Lachlan Agriculture Kenya Ltd, the distributors of the product in East Africa, says TwinN has been used on over 50,000 hectares of crops in Australia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Madagascar.

The launch of TwinN in Uganda is timely. Statistics from Famine Early Warning Systems Network of USAID show that about 1.7 million people in Uganda are facing food scarcity.

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