WATCH: Ugandan farmers switch to organic fertilisers as price of chemicals spike

Published Sep 20, 2022


Cape Town - Soaring prices of fertilisers are driven by several factors, including surging input costs, supply disruptions caused by sanctions (Belarus and Russia), and export restrictions (China).

Concerns around fertiliser affordability and availability have been amplified by the war in Ukraine.

But African farmers are turning to organic fertilisers to cushion the blow of high costs of chemical fertilisers.

Like many food producers, they are hit by global shortages in crop fertilisers caused by sanctions on Russia, bad weather and cuts in export.

An organic fertiliser is derived from organic sources, including organic compost, cattle manure, poultry droppings and domestic sewage.

The Marula Proteen company spearheads the organic fertiliser initiative in Uganda.


After using chemical fertilisers for over 20 years, Malawian farmer, Sabawo Chikuni started using organic fertilisers on his five-acre farm two years ago — due to the rising cost of chemical fertilisers.

Since he started using the organic fertilisers, Chikuni said he is happy with their impact on his crops. Coming from readily available and renewable sources, organic fertilisers have cut his cultivation costs by 80%.

According to the World Bank, global fertiliser consumption has remained strong throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The institution says fertilisers are now at their least affordable levels since the 2008 global food crisis, despite higher crop prices, which may limit fertiliser use.