Agricultural use of fertilizer products from urban waste - towards efficient nutrient recycling and sustainable food production

Agricultural reuse of fertilizer products made from human wastes (organic waste, sanitation, wastewater) facilitates the closing of nutrient cycles, improvement of soils and potentially an increase in crop productivity. In this NUFFIC project university staff, farmers and SME’s in Adama, Ethiopia, will receive training from PRI and LeAF in the management and effective use of organic fertilizer products based on human wastes.

Ethiopian farmers are generally using the synthetic fertilizers DAP and urea to maintain or increase agricultural productivity. Results of soil mapping revealed deficiency of many macro and micro nutrients in Ethiopian soils, having a negative impact on crop productivity and soil conditions. The inorganic fertilizers are expensive, and together with the nutrient deficiencies it is an indispensable step to start looking for alternative fertilizer sources. Fertilizer products based on human excreta and organic solid waste contain all necessary macro and micro nutrients for plant growth and their importance as fertilizer is receiving more attention, even in Northern countries.

 The Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU) in general and the School of Agriculture (SoA) in particular are stakeholders who should address problems of crop productivity and environmental protection. Currently adequate knowledge on methods of waste treatment and application for improving crop productivity, including aspects such as hygienic aspects and economic value, is lacking at these institutes. As such, PRI and LeAF, in cooperation with SEI, will prepare and conduct a training on the agricultural use of fertilizer products made from urban waste.

 In this project academic and research staff of the SoA will be trained in the management and effects of using organic fertilizer produces produced from human wastes. This will be done in such a way that these staff members in their turn will be able to train students, farmers and entrepreneurs. The training will also provide input that can be used to initiate new projects in the future and to conduct scientific experiments related to the use of human excreta-based fertilizers in agriculture.

 The final outcome of the training is to have ASTU staff members trained on use of fertilizer products from urban waste, with sufficient background on product properties, opportunities and risks involved (agronomic and economic value, hygienic aspects). Result is also a training module developed and given by ASTU staff to local stakeholders.

 The training will be conducted in close cooperation with the ROSSA project, also located in Adama.


Darja Kragic Kok