Maintaining natural soil fertility is an issue that farmers ought to continually keep in mind and even frequently discuss in their village meetings.

It is also an issue about which they should regularly seek guidance from their area agricultural services extension officers.
When agricultural produce is transported to markets in towns it goes away with the soil nutrients absorbed from the soil.
Yet, as we were taught in school, natural soil fertility results from decayed tissues of plants and animals, livestock waste matter, mainly urine.

Think of banana peelings, banana leaves, coffee husks, tea leaves and other crop residues that urban councils must collect and dispose of as garbage.

If they are left to decompose in the garden they form nutrients vital to plant growth.
The farmer can replace these by treasuring all crop residues on the farm such as pruning waste, tops of root crops, grass and weeds and ploughing or burying them into the soil.

These are known as green manures and they include the use of green leaf solutions prepared by putting green leaves in water containers for some days.

Left-over material of particularly leguminous crops is said to contain nitrates and therefore the farmer should ensure it is all well ploughed back into the soil unless it is to be used as fodder.

Mulching is a very much recommended practice in crop production as it sustains soil moisture and actually turns into manure upon decaying.

Regular application of farmyard manure which also includes livestock beddings in the garden is another efficient way of sustaining soil fertility.

A farmer can also prepare what is known as compost manure by setting up a hole into which animal excreta is mixed with decaying plant residues like grass slashed from the compound or from wherever.

After some weeks the mixture turns into very good manure for the crops. Farming becomes a lot cheaper and more profitable when a farmer turns to natural farming practices.

It may not be easy for every farmer to avoid manufactured chemical fertilisers, but they are not meant to be an absolute substitute for natural organic matter.