Business News of 2013-06-16

Urine recommended to farmers as fertiliser

Agricultural experts from University of Applied Science Lahti in Finland have recommended the use of urine for farming and vegetable gardening.

They said urine is as good as NPK fertiliser, with an added advantage of being a free source of organic nitrogen.

The recommendation was made at a capacity building workshop for environment health officers, agriculture extension officers and school health committees as part of the Ho Municipality and Lahti City, Finland co-operation in environmental health sanitation.

The workshop focused on dry toilets, a technology developed and used in rural Finland, which separates human faeces from urine to produce compost and urine fertiliser.

The aim of the co-operation was to improve environmental health sanitation in Ho, reduce cost of managing sanitation and expose the public to the economic value of human waste.

Mr Esco Merontousa and Miss Anni Knuuttila, who spoke on the agricultural value of compost and urine, said fresh urine is recommended for growing maize, cabbage, beans, lentils, spinach, grass crops and oil plants.

Urine is also good for growing potatoes, cucumber, tomatoes and rhododendron when diluted after being kept in an air-tight container for one month.

They recommended that one to 1.5 litres or one large size empty Voltic bottle-full of urine should be applied to one square metre of crops and should be 10 metres away from the roots of the crops, and applied three times in a month.

In case of tree crops, it should be applied up to the level of the outermost branches.

They suggested that the application of urine fertiliser should stop one month before harvest to prevent urine residue in the crop.

The Ho Polytechnic is said to be experimenting the use of urine fertiliser.

The dry toilet technology is being used in some basic schools in the municipality.

Ms Anna Alto, a Co-ordinator of the Project told the Ghana News Agency that 15 artisans would be trained to construct dry toilets for households and the public.

She said two families of five people each could produce GH¢1,200 worth of compost from the dry toilets in a year.

Ms Alto said schools could also use the compost and urine fertiliser for gardening and with time it could become a lucrative source of business.

Source: GNA
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