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Agricultural Productivity In Malawi Essay

868 words - 4 pages

Increasing agricultural productivity has been the main agenda for agricultural experts in many countries including Malawi. Because of the effects of climatic change on agricultural productivity, researchers have found ways to improve productivity for smallholder and commercial farmers alike, the former for increased food security and the latter for increased profits. However, so many years after the introduction of the yielding varieties, still being developed by many researchers from the whole wide world, the globe is still facing food insecurity for most people on the planet earth. The use of inorganic fertilizers has ameliorated the problem of low agricultural productivity, however, in most developing countries, food insecurity still persists every year. What could be the problem? In my own opinion, I would say many developing countries have failed to address the issue of soil productivity and have rushed to think the use of high yielding varieties and use of inorganic fertilizers will solve the problems. I believe that the issue has to be tackled at its root, which in my opinion is that most soils have lost their productivity capacities and hence the technologies have failed to make an impact on total agricultural productivity. In this essay, I will therefore discuss the nature of the extent of low soil productivity and make suggestions on how the problem could be solved using sustainable approaches.
Soil productivity can be defined as the capacity of the soil to support vibrant plant growth, which would result into increased crop productivity. Soil productivity is a function of a number of components in the soil such as nutrient availability, moisture availability, water holding capacity and the soil structure among others. These components are controlled by both natural factors and human activities. Some of the natural factors include evapotranspiration and temperature, which are influenced by solar energy while human activities include cropping and land management practices. The extent of low soil productivity problem is manifested through different indicators that can be seen throughout the growing season. First of all, most of the soils in Malawi are nitrogen deficient and this is the main nutrient needed for plant growth. Nitrogen deficient in Malawi is a well-known problem because during the growing season, most crops develop yellow coloration, a sign of nitrogen deficient. In addition to this, there are some quarters of the country, which have phosphorous and potassium deficiencies indicated by purple coloration of leaves and yellow and brown coloration of leaves margins respectively (Sawyer, 2004).
Nutrient deficiency is largely a sustainability problem because it can be solved by sustainable human...

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