Chemical agriculture (Urea, NPK, DAP, etc., and the accompanying chemical sprays – used because of the harmful effect of the chemical fertilizers) kills all the soil’s microbial life. NPK and Urea produce good yields for farmers by pumping the plants full of Nitrogen, like a weightlifter pumps his muscles full of steroids so that he can have big muscles and lift heavier weights.
But because the growth is not natural, and the plant’s immune system weakens, the plants suffer from disease and pests, and chemical sprays are then used to kill the resulting pests and disease. The Urea and NPK harden the soil while the chemical sprays kill the soil’s microbial life with the result that even more Urea and NPK have to be used to get the same yield as before. No wonder the agro-chemical producers have been laughing all the way to the bank for decades!
But there comes a point when the soil is so dead from chemical agriculture that the chemical farmers have to move elsewhere. Large areas of Ghana have been laid waste by many years of chemical agriculture, especially in the North, and the farmers have moved away. Tanzania has a terrible problem with land ruined by years of chemical agriculture. It’s a crazy way to farm, but it’s become the norm. Farmers have been duped by the agro-chemical companies. However, awareness about the damage of chemical agriculture is increasing worldwide and its days are numbered.
If the soil is in a very bad state because of the effects of the chemicals, in the first year the soil’s fertility has to be restored. It’s a bit like going from, say, minus 50 to zero, before the yield can improve. Meanwhile the chemical farmers will be pumping their crops full of Nitrogen; getting a higher yield; and saying proudly: “Look! Chemicals are better than organic farming! Follow us!” But while they are boasting about their higher yield, they are killing off their soil and getting ready unwittingly to become poorer.
It is comparable to a human being taking steroids: “Look at my big muscles! Yours are tiny in comparison.” It is true, though. The more steroids a weightlifter takes, the bigger his muscles become. But eventually, he will die from all the chemicals in his body. The soil is the same.
In Year 1 the yield with the bio-fertilizers might be lower than the chemicals in organic farming, if the soil is very weak. But with proper soil preparation; by stopping the use of chemical sprays; and by stopping the use of chemical fertilizers, either at once or in a gradual way; the yield will increase year by year beyond what chemicals can produce.
Remember that year by year the chemical farmer’s soil is becoming harder, weaker, and more infertile, and the plant’s immune system is becoming weaker and weaker. If the farmer can afford to buy more and more Urea and NPK and chemical sprays (because of the cumulative effects of the Urea and NPK), he can still get a good yield. But there will come a time when the donkey, which the cruel farmer keeps beating to go faster, will eventually die.
If the farmer makes a lot of very good bio-compost with Bio-Plant and follows the guidelines for using Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant, he will quite possibly outperform chemicals in the first season. This is a very common occurrence. But it does depend on how bad the soil has become as a result of chemical agriculture.
The yield increase in Year 1 depends on how dead the chemical soil is. We’ve had farmers say it increased for them from between about 20% to as high as 100%. It depends on the situation. But as the soil’s microbial life is restored the yield difference will become bigger and bigger. This is why more and more areas of Vietnam have changed from 100% chemical agriculture to bio-chemical and organic farming. It is also why MOFA in Ghana and the Ghana Cocoa Board want to stop chemical agriculture. It’s a crazy, old-style way to farm.
In the case of bio-chemical farming with Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant, the yield won’t be lower even in Year 1. The farmer’s costs will be lower and the soil’s fertility will start to improve too.
If you want to become poor nowadays, use a lot of Urea, NPK, and chemical sprays. If you want to have a good living, replace the chemicals with the bio-fertilizers either in bio-chemical or organic farming.
Generally throughout the world, the agro-chemical producers and dealers are laughing all the way to the bank while the farmers have to leave their farms and look for work in the cities. But in Thailand and Vietnam, where awareness is widespread now, the chemical producers are suffering while farmers are becoming wealthier. Nigeria is still experiencing the Dark Age of Chemical Agriculture, but that will change soon. Happy are the farmers who make the change!
By: Aliyu ibrahim