The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has awarded a grant to CREPA and SEI to manage a project entitled “Testing a nutrient recycling system (Productive Sanitation Systems) in Niger with a view to measuring its potential for improving agricultural productivity”.
In the context of the soaring world fertilizer prices, the ca. billion poor smallholder farmers in the world have to use alternative solutions to produce affordable nutrients which can sustain agricultural food production. A new paradigm in agriculture is in the making linking it to sanitation systems using e.g. urine source-separation, collection and reuse as a chemical fertilizer. IFAD has the interest to test this Productive Sanitation System (PSS) to improve the situation for poor smallholder farmers by providing access to safe human-generated fertilizer for crops.
This pilot project will be integrated into the PPILDA project in the Maradi region (South Niger) to address specifically the improvement of low soil fertility in optimizing nutrient reuse (with hygienised urine). It will test whether Productive Sanitation Systems are accepted by the local population and if it provides an increase in food production, nutrition, income and health in the pilot communities. A comparative analysis with commercial chemical fertilizers will be carried out. The work is based on similar previous successful projects in Africa by CREPA and SEI.
Contact: Laurent Stravato, IFAD ; Anselme Vodhounessi CREPA ; Arno Rosemarin, SEI
A seminar was held at IFAD Headquarters in Rome Tuesday 29 January 2008 with participants from IFAD and The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).
The main objective of this learning event was to share knowledge and experiences on the best ways of optimizing human waste or nutrient recycling, using productive sanitation systems. The event also highlighted the economic benefits of recycling nutrients as fertilizer in terms of improved soil condition, reclaimed water, increased agricultural productivity, employment generation, and health improvements and the reduction of environmental and public health costs.
The following presentations are available:
* The role of productive sanitation in global environmental sustainability
* Key linkages between agriculture and sanitation
* The MDG Sanitation challenges. Examples of productive sanitation projects in various regions
* Best practices optimizing nutrient recycling. Examples of ongoing projects
* A global pro-poor policy and capacity development programme on sustainable sanitation
The President of IFAD has declared his interest in investigating further opportunities for collaboration with institutions researching the role of productive sanitation in adaptation to adverse climate change effects.
A concept note will be developed linking climate change adaptation, productive sanitation systems and water management at the small-scale farmer level.
Current IFAD pilot initiatives related to productive sanitation systems will continue to be scaled up based on potential results. Several Country Programme Managers at IFAD have already shown an interest in testing those approaches in current projects (in Rwanda, Burundi, China, India and Swaziland and South Africa for example).
IFAD will also support different activities on productive sanitation systems during the International Year of Sanitation with partners such as the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, SEI, UN agencies ( UNICEF) and private foundation.