Turning urban waste into an economic asset for urban and periurban farming in Sri Lanka
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Fernando, Sudarshana; Drechsel, Pay; Amirova, I.; Semasinghe, Christina; Jayathilake, Nilanthi. 2015. Turning urban waste into an economic asset for urban and periurban farming in Sri Lanka. In Sismondi, L. (Ed.). Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society-Reconnecting agriculture and food chains to societal needs, 14-17 September 2015, Rome, Italy. Pisa, Italy: Lab di Studi Rurali Sismondi. pp.284-285.
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To assess the current situation of municipal solid waste (MSW) composting opportunities and potential acceptance of nutrient enriched pelletized compost in Sri Lanka,two field surveys were conductednationwide and in Kurunegala (Northwestern) area, respectively. Due to the low nutrient content of MSW compost, it qualifies mostly as a conditioner of the soil’s physical properties. As a result the compost so far produced across the country has received limitedattention. The surveys indicated that if the nutrient levels are increased, 74% of the farmers surveyed are willing to use thecompost. The percentage willing to use compost was similar among farmers of the three most common crops; coconut, paddy and vegetables,ranging from 72 to 77%. Using the land use pattern, the crop cultivation databases and the willingness to use (WTU) results, the potential demand for compost was estimated.As per the results, in the urban context of Kaluthara,a 160% larger capacity plant (present input capacity 38 t/day)would be needed to satisfy market demand within a 10 km radiusof theplant. For the Attanagalla plant (present capacity 10 t/day) within a rural setting, all compost could be absorbed within 2 km.