Urine as an alternative fertilizer in agriculture: effects in amaranths (Amaranthus caudatus) production
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AdeOluwa, O. O.; Cofie, Olufunke. 2012. Urine as an alternative fertilizer in agriculture: effects in amaranths (Amaranthus caudatus) production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 27(4):287-294. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742170511000512
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/41780
Crop production in most developing countries is faced with a dearth of resources for optimum production of which fertilizer is one. The use of human urine as well as its mixture with compost are potential solutions to this problem. Thus, this report investigated the influence of human urine and its combination with compost on yield and soil quality of land under green amaranths (Amaranthus caudatus). This study involved a field experiment to determine the response of green amaranths to the application of 100% urine, 2/3 urineN+1/3 compost N, 100% compost N,NPK (15:15:15) at the rate of 100kgNha-1 and control with no fertilizer treatment using farmers' participatory approach. The vegetables produced from the experimental treatments were analyzed in the laboratory for pathogenic microbial risk as well as effects of the fertilizer on nutrient status of the experimental soils (before and after planting). Perception of farmers and consumers in the study area regarding use of urine as fertilizer for vegetable production was investigated with the aid of a structured questionnaire. The result of this investigation revealed that 100% urine resulted in 58.17 tha-1 total plant yield, while NPK 15:15:15 gave 34.34 tha-1 total plant yield in the two plantings. Microbial analysis of edible portion of vegetable from plot fertilized with urine did not reveal any significantly different pathological contamination compared to other fertilizer treatments used in this investigation. Urine treatment improved soil nutrient exchangeable cations and acidity. The perception study revealed that respondents perceived urine to be a good agricultural input that could be used as a fertilizer in vegetable crop production and there was no strong cultural norm that would prevent them using it for crop production. Vegetable consumers would also buy vegetable crops grown with urine if they are well informed about its safety for crop production. Since the use of urine as fertilizer for crop production improved amaranth's yield and did not show any negative implication on soil environment, human urine seems to have good potential both in crop yield and acceptability by farmers and consumers.