Tumbukiza technology summarized in figures 1-6 and conventional method compared

Figure 1. Tumbukiza technology
Conventional Method
- Plough and harrow the field well before planting
- Dig planting holes 15-12 cm deep, or spacing
In each hole apply:
- Two handfuls of farmyard manure (FYM) or
- A soda bottle full of DAP or
- Both a handful of FYM and 1/2 soda bottle top of DAP
- Place 3 nodes piece of cane ensuring two nodes are covered or
- Place a root split of Napier planting material in the hole
- Cover the planted material with soil
- Intercrop with food crops or forage legumes.
Tumbukiza technology
- Plough and harrow the field well
- Dig pits with spacing of 60x 60 cm or 60 cm x 90 or 90 x 90 cm depending on moisture regime
- Mix 1 depe (20 liter tin) of top soil with 1 0r 2 depes of FYM
- Put the soil-farmyard manure into the pit leaving 1 cm space at the brim
- Plant 5-10 cuttings/canes/root splits per hole

Figure 2. Round and Rectangular Pits
For Round Pits
Where land pressure and rainfall are both high
- Dig pits 60 cm in diameter and 60 cm deep
- The rows of pits should be 60 cm apart
Where land pressure and rainfall are both low
- Dig pits 60-90 cm in diameter and 60-90 cm deep
- The rows of pits should be 1 meter apart
Thus wider pit spacing where moisture is low

Rectangular Pits
Where land pressure and rainfall are both high
- Dig pits 60 cm deep, 60-90 cm wide
-Length of the pit can vary depending on the available of land
- The pit should be 1 m apart
Where land pressure and rainfall are both low
- Dig pits 60-90 cm wide or in diameter and 60-90 cm deep
- The rows of pits should be 1 meter apart
- Separate top soil from sub-soil
- Plant 5-10 cuttings/canes or single root splits for every 1 meter length
Use top-soil-manure mixture or fertilizer

Figure 3. Napier Management and Utilization  
Hand weed if there are any weeds.
Use space between the pits to grow other crops such as beans, potatoes or forage legumes like Desmodium. Apply farmyard manure or slurry after every 4-6 harvests.
  • Harvest napier grass and Desmodium at 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) high.
  • Leave a stem length of 4 inches (10 cm) from the ground at harvesting.
  • Chop the harvested Napier grass and Desmodium to reduce wastage while feeding it to the animals.
  • Regrowth can be harvested when it reaches 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) high which means a period of 6-8 weeks between cuts
  • More fodder of better quality
  • More milk
  • Napier grass uses nitrogen supplied by Desmodium and therefore you can save on top dressing
Figure 4. Farmers field school on tumbukiza technology  
Tumbukiza technology
Conventional method
Small holder farmers who have been attending Mwangaza farmers field school compare Tumbukiza Technology with Conventional method of planting and managing Napier grass during their graduation in the farmers field school.

During farmers’ graduation, a farmers’ field day is organized where the graduating farmers explain to other farmers what they have learned, during the entire school season which takes about 1 year. Here the technology learned was Tumbukiza. For the entire year the farmers here been meeting once a week going practically through the entire process of Napier grass planting, management, utilization and marketing, comparing napier grass production from Tumbukiza technology with production from the conventional method. This field day also serves as a way of disseminating the technology to other farmers.

Figure 5. Case study A  
Mrs Soi of Motosieti farm in Kamplamai Division, Trans-Nzoia District, Rift Valley Province, Kenya, compares Conventional Method (Top) and Tumbukiza (Bottom) on her farm. She has intercropped Napier grass with sweet potatoes.
She learned Tumbukiza Technology from Mwangaza Farmers field school where she graduated.
This is the peak of the long dry season. Mr and Mrs. Joel Soi’s farm has had 3-4 months of drought. She says that the napier grass they established by conventional method dried up during the initial period of the dry season and remained unproductive. She says that while the napier grass established by conventional method remained unproductive, the napier grass established by Tumbukiza technology has enabled their dairy animals to remain productive. Tumbukiza technology has enabled the family to earn higher milk payments from milk produced during the dry season. Napier grass established and managed using Tumbukiza remained green and kept on growing even during the dry season because of the moisture conserved in the pits and high fertility. Mr. Soi is also happy that she is able to harvest sweet potatoes that she planted between the pits. She uses sweet potatoes for food and feeds potato vines to the calves.
Figure 5. Case study B  
Douglas Nabwaya is seen standing with his mother. His parents have only 1.0 ha. of land in Saboti Division of Trans Nzoia District and they keep two dairy cows under zero-grazing and they mainly feed them on Napier grass planted and managed by conventional method. The parents have used their dairy income to educate Douglas to secondary school level. Douglas has just graduated from Mawazo farmers field school and he is increasing their Napier grass production on their farm using Tumbukiza Technology he learned from the farmers field school. He is confident that with this new technology, his parents will now raise enough funds to educate him to college level.
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