IETC

International Environmental Technology Centre 

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Rural-urban partnership on the use of sanitation products for agricultural use

Rural partnership on the use of sanitation product for agricultural useThis component of the project explored the possibility of establishing a rural-urban partnership on the use of sanitation products (urine and feces) from an urban area to act as nutrients in the form of fertilizer in a rural area, thus ‘closing the loop’ on sanitation products, rather than having them be disposed of as waste.

In order to enhance the knowledge of the local implementing partners in La Union province, Philippines, ten LGU personnel representing the Municipal Agriculture Office (four persons), Municipal Environment Office (one person), OPAg - Environment and Natural Resources Division (one person), and the Provincial Agriculture Banner Programs (four persons) attended a training workshop on urine reuse in agriculture conducted by Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, on 16 to 18 November 2010. This was followed by a planning workshop with the representatives of the different municipalities, which was conducted at the conference hall, Office of the Provincial Agriculture Office, on 1 December 2010, in which the municipal agriculturists agreed to undertake pilot demonstration of urine re-use as liquid fertilizer in their respective municipalities.

In particular, in Bauang, Mr. Avelino Lomboy, who is a farmer-scientist, participated in demonstrating the application of urine as a fertilizer for tomato plants. Urine collected from various point sources, e.g. municipal hall, plazas, markets and schools, was transported to and stored in the demonstration farm in Urayong prior to application as liquid fertilizer.

During the last consultation held on May 2011 in Bauang, the farmer-participants noted that the use of urine as liquid fertilizer can be promoted for several reasons:

  • it is an effective fertilizer especially on vegetables and fruit trees;

  • it is an alternative for commercial fertilizer, which are now very expensive; and

  • it can be used as a supplementary input to reduce production cost, especially in the cases of backyard gardening and ornamental plants among others.

Use of urine as a fertilizer to grow tomatoesSome of the participants, however, perceived that there are remaining issues to be addressed, such as:

  • the sustainability of source and supply quality for urine; and

  • the needed manpower for the collection and transportation.

In the light of these conclusions, the farmers will promote and disseminate information on the use of urine as a fertilizer to various actors, i.e. farmer’s groups, barangay / neighborhood, households, schools and others.

Improvement of the logistic system for urine re-use in selected crops was undertaken by the project. As for supply, the municipality designated the male toilets in the public market as source point for urine, and a storage facility was installed there.  The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office is in-charge of the regular collection and transport of urine to the farms. The Municipal Agriculture Office for farm related activities provides assistance on cropping and application of liquid fertilizer.

The reports for this activity are available for download below:

 

Rural Urban partnership workshop