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Maize Pit Planting as Rain Water Harvesting Technology to Increase Yields

Maize Pit Planting as Rain Water Harvesting Technology to Increase Yields. A s elf instructional material for smallholder farmers in marginal rainfall areas in Malawi. By Raphael B. Mkisi. Next. Overview of the module.

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Maize Pit Planting as Rain Water Harvesting Technology to Increase Yields

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  1. Maize Pit Planting as Rain Water Harvesting Technology to Increase Yields A self instructional material for smallholder farmers in marginal rainfall areas in Malawi By Raphael B. Mkisi Next

  2. Overview of the module The purpose of this module is to equip smallholder farmers living in marginal rainfall areas with knowledge and skill in maize pit planting as rain water harvesting to reduce the effects of drought. In this module you are going to learn introduction to pit planting, constructing maize planting pits, planting maize in pits, and fertilizer application in maize planted in pits. Click menu button to go to main menu Back Menu

  3. Main Menu Click on the first button to continue, when you are through with first topic go to the second, third, and finish with the fourth. Introduction to pit planting Constructing maize planting pits Planting maize in pits Fertilizer application 1 2 3 4 Back

  4. Introduction to Pit Planting What is pit planting? In a group of 3 or 4 brain storm on what you think pit planting is and click next to compare with what is presented. Menu Next Back

  5. Pit Planting • Pit planting is an option in conservation farming for maximizing maize production. • It involves digging recommended specifications along contour that may last for 4 years or more. • Pits can be dug at any time of the year but are easily dug soon after harvest when the soil is still moist (May and June). • These pits are suitable in marginal areas that receive average annual rainfall of less than 1000mm. Menu Next Back

  6. Advantages of Planting Pits What do you think are the advantages of planting pits? Discuss in a group of 3 or 4 members and click next to compare Menu Next Back

  7. Advantages of Planting Pits • Retains soil moisture and nutrients for crop growth. • Pits capture and conserve all rain water there by reducing soil erosion. • Labor cost is reduced in subsequent years since the pits can be used for more than four years. • Improves crop yields due to destruction of the hard pan, improved soil moistureand soil fertility. • Pits can be constructed using locally available materials that can be afforded by smallholder farmers. Next Back Menu

  8. Review Questions • Planting pits can be used for a minimum of how many years? • Suppose you meet a farmer who live in an area that receives 1500mm of average annual rainfall, would you recommend planting pits for this farmer? Why? • Explain any three importance of pit planting. Back Menu

  9. Construction of Maize Planting Pits Before you can construct planting pits you need to have materials to aid you with the construction. Click next for a small exercise that you need to do in your groups. Next Back Menu

  10. Group Exercise In your groups suggest a list of materials you think would be needed to successfully construct a planting pit. Click next to compare your suggestions with what is presented in this topic. Next Back Menu

  11. Materials Needed • Hoe • Shovel • Ropes • Measuring tape or ruler • Pick • Crow barrow • Well decomposed manure • mulches Next Back Menu

  12. Steps in constructing maize planting Pits • Mark pit position at 70cm apart using the rope following the contour. • Space rows at 90cm • Dig pits from the center 15cm either side and 20cm deep (30cm by 30cm by 20cm). • When digging pits separate top soil from sub soil as shown on the photo. Next Back Menu

  13. Steps in constructing maize planting Pits • Mix top soil with eight handful of manure and fill the pit leaving 2.5cm from the top. • Spread mulch over the pit. Note: A complete dug pit should look like the one shown on the picture before it is filled. Next Back Menu

  14. Reviewquestions • Mention any four materials needed to successful construction of planting pits. • At what length should the rows be spaced? • What is the recommended size of the planting pits for maize? • What do you think is the purpose of mulching the pits? Back Menu

  15. Planting Maize in Pits Before proceeding, brain storm the following questions in your groups. • What type of maize seed planting do you? • How many maize seed do you think should be planted per pit? Next Back Menu

  16. Planting Maize in Pits • Plant four seeds of maize per pit, but one seed per planting station in corners 2.5cm away from the edge of the pit as show on the photo. • Optionally you can plant one legume at the center of the pit. • The spaces between rows can be covered with mulches to conserve soil moisture Next Back Menu

  17. Review Questions • How may maize seed should be planted per station in the pit? • Why should the spaces between rows be mulched? • What is the spacing between planting stations in a pit? Back Menu

  18. Fertilizer Application to Maize Planted in Pits There is need to be in our usual groups and discuss the following questions: • How do you apply fertilizer in maize planted in ridges? • What measurement do you use? Menu Next Back

  19. FertilizerApplication • Fertilizer application rate is the same as 1-1 planting in ridges. • Use dollop method to apply fertilizer • Apply one cup (size number 5) to a hole between two opposite sides for basal dressing fertilizer on the day of planting. • Top dress using the same cup on the other opposite sides after 21 days of planting. • Use 23:21:0+4S for basal dressing and UREA or CAN for top dressing. Menu Next Back

  20. Review Questions • How many cups of 23:21:0+4S should be applied per planting pit? • Mention three fertilizers recommended for use un maize? • When is the right time for farmers to apply their top dressing fertilizers to their maize planted in pits? Next Back Menu

  21. References • Chigowo, M.T., Juwawo, S., Mkisi, R.B., Mtambo, M., Makungwa, R.P., Gondwe, R., & Simba, M. (2011). Report on Conservation Agriculture, Swales and Farm Ponds Technical Messages Development. Unpublished. • http://johnnjue.blogspot.com/2012/05/maize-production-using-modified-zai.html • http://www.africanews.com/site/Malawi_to_export_maize_to_Zimbabwe/list_messages/24649 • Temu, A., Malley, Z., Mwigune, S., & Kinab, N. (2000). Sowing maize in pits: Farmer innovation in Tanzania. ILEIA Newsletter. Retrieved from http://worldagroforestry.org/projects/searnet/index.php?id=72 Back Menu

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