|Environmental Education in the Schools (Peace Corps, 1993)|
|Activities, activities and more activities|
In small groups, distribute copies of the handout on page 352. Have students answer the questions posed. Afterward, in small groups or as a class, discuss the following:
* Based on the experience and knowledge of advanced agricultural sciences and technology, what information might a team of agricultural experts be able to offer the Zimbabwe farmers regarding the use of chemical fertilizers?
* What are some of the environmental impacts of both natural and chemical fertilizers? Which are the more damaging to the environment?
* When can the trade-offs between efficiency and environmental effects of factory-made fertilizers be considered significant?
* How do these issues apply to your own homes? What do your findings say about the use of fertilizers on your gardens at home? On your lawns? Is it wise to use chemical fertilizers to keep your lawn green?
Mr. Moyo and Mr. Gumisa are farmers at Guto in Zimbabwe. Their farms are side by side.
Mr. Moyo is complaining to his friend about his maize plants. They have not grown as well as Mr. Gumisa's maize plants. Yet, rainfall was the same. It is not as though the weather conditions on the two farms were different.
Mr. Moyo says he ploughed his land just as did Mr. Gumisa.
Mr. Moyo says he decided to use only natural fertilizer on his land. He collected all the cattle manure from their kraal and mixed it with soil from an anthill and compost from his compost heap. "It was hard work, too," says Mr. Moyo. Mr. Gumisa knows that was a good idea, for indeed, natural fertilizer is very good for soil. He wonders, though, if Mr. Moyo had enough natural fertilizer for his five hectares of maize. He knows that if one uses natural fertilizer then a great deal is needed.
The two farmers each have five cattle. Mr. Gumisa used the manure from his cattle and compost for fertilizing his wife's vegetables and the groundnuts she was growing. For his five hectares of maize he bought synthetic fertilizer.
Finally, Mr. Gumisa decided he must invite Mr. Moyo, whom he liked so much, to his home and give him some beer. He would then try to explain to him why buying factory-made fertilizer has many advantages.
What did Mr. Gumisa say to his friend?
What was Mr. Moyo's response?