Plant Seeds for Change
WHY THIS MATTERS
Many of the 2 billion poor farmers around the world fertilize their crops with a nitrogen fertilizer called urea, which was produced originally for industrial agriculture. Urea was introduced to poor small-scale farmers as a way to easily boost productivity, and many farmers abandoned their centuries-old farming traditions for this new promise. Unfortunately, when urea gets into the soil, it upsets the balance of soil microorganisms, which are essential for providing vitamins and minerals to growing plants. Destroying the soil ecosystem in this way creates a chain of negative outcomes:
- Crops become more susceptible to disease because their immune systems are compromised—any body that’s weak attracts bugs—which prompts farmers to spend money on pesticides and herbicides;
- Crop productivity declines when essential soil nutrients are diminished—which prompts farmers to use more fertilizer;
- Crops that are sick or malnourished produce poor-quality seeds that cannot be planted the following season—which means farmers have to buy seed, some of which is GMO;
- Crops are less nutritious because the plants are starving for nutrients—which furthers the problem of human malnutrition, especially among children;
- Fields require more water because the water-holding capacity of the soil is significantly diminished when microbial life is destroyed—which prompts farmers to increase irrigation, resulting in depleted aquifers, increased run-off, and surface-level water pollution.
- Many farmers that put their hope in urea now find themselves inescapably dependent on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and GMO seeds, the combination of which degrades their soils, poisons their waters, harms their health, and diminishes their incomes. Because of these rising costs, farmers are making a mere 2% profit, which only intensifies their poverty and food insecurity.
Billions of rural farmers are unable to make a living and care for their families. We’re helping restore their livelihoods by teaching them to make their own fertilizer for FREE.
Natural Self-made Fertilizer
Natural Self-made Fertilizer is a cost-free fertilizer that can transform unproductive land into a thriving farm, enabling farmers to reduce reliance on chemicals and increase profits. Natural Self-made Fertilizer is made by gathering whatever is laying around—dry plant materials, fresh grass, crop residues, animal manure—and then using a simple-to-follow layering method to construct a shoulder-high pile. Besides having to tend to the pile every other day, Nature does all the work. After 18 days, the result is a nutrient-rich fertilizer with a high concentration of soil microorganisms. Integrating the fertilizer into a field can bring dead soil back to life within the first planting season. Natural Self-made Fertilizer has the potential to revolutionize life for farmers around the world.
WHY IT WORKS
Getting Back to the Fundamentals
Natural farming is effective because it seeks to improve that which is most fundamental to agriculture: Soil. Healthy soil supports healthy plants. Healthy plants have strong immune systems and aren’t susceptible to pests and disease, which means less need for pesticides and herbicides. Healthy plants are highly productive and produce higher quality crops, which means more revenue and more nutritious food. Finally, healthier plants generate fruits with viable seeds, which means no more need to buy costly seeds.
Results from the Field
Field-testing with Natural Self-made Fertilizer began with 50 farms in India in 2016. Within a year it had spread virally to about 40,000 farms. The results have been stunning. Farmers who have replaced urea with Natural Self-made Fertilizer have reported both higher yields and higher quality crops. They’re using less pesticide because their plants are healthier. Their produce looks better and tastes better. They have visibly healthier kids because the kids are eating more nutritious food. Their irrigation requirements are lower because instead of 90 percent of water in a field evaporating, now 90 percent is being absorbed. Crops are producing functional seeds, which can be replanted to grow new crops, so farmers no longer have to buy seeds. Instead of burning farm waste, they’re turning it into fertilizer, which means less air pollution. Most importantly, the farmers are making a living, which is allowing them to send their kids to school, buy basic necessities, and experience higher quality of life. All of these benefits can be attributed to reinvigorating the soil with Natural Self-made Fertilizer.