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close this bookBetter Farming Series 06 - The Soil: How to Improve the Soil (FAO - INADES, 1976, 29 p.)
close this folderPlan of work
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentManure (dung)
View the documentCompost
View the documentGreen manure
Open this folder and view contentsFertilizers
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View the documentApplying fertilizers


When you have no animals, and no manure, you can make compost.

Compost is a mixture of plants, stems of millet and maize, etc., refuse from the house, remains of food such as vegetables and fruit, which all rot together.

· Making compost

Dig a hole.

At the bottom of the hole put a lot of big pebbles and stones, so that too much water will not stand in the hole.

Throw into the hole all the household refuse, weeds and plants you have cut down, and the refuse from the harvest.

Water the heap to make it rot.

Like manure, the compost must not dry out.

So make the heap in the shade to shelter it from the sun.

· Using compost and manure

Take it to your field.
Spread it out well.
Mix it with the soil by turning over the soil either with a hoe or a plough.
Manure and compost contain mineral salts, which enrich the soil; humus, which improves the soil structure.