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The potential for using composted municipal waste in agriculture

the case of Accra, Ghana

Hofny-Collins, Anna (2006). The potential for using composted municipal waste in agriculture. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2006:65
ISBN 91-576-7114-1
[Doctoral thesis]

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This thesis addresses the relationship between urban waste and agriculture using an interdisciplinary systems approach. The environmental, economic, socio-cultural and political potential for using municipal waste compost (MWC) in urban and peri-urban agriculture in Accra, Ghana, was explored from different stakeholder perspectives and scales of enquiry. A pluralistic methodology was used in order to address different parts of the research and a critical reflection was made by the researcher on the carrying out of interdisciplinary research using these approaches. Waste management and composting practices were studied, as was urban and peri-urban agricultural systems. A series of farmer participatory experiments were carried out with urban vegetable growers to test the effects of using MWC from two different composting plants in Accra alongside current farmers’ practices. The perspectives of different stakeholders were also assessed through a combination of methods, including semi structured and informal interviews, participatory appraisal techniques, formal surveys, group discussions and workshops. Compost quality assessments revealed that the compost from the small-scale James Town plant was of higher quality than that produced at the large-scale Teshie/Nungua plant. Compost applications had a positive effect on crop growth. However, vegetable producers primarily used chicken manure as a fertility input and compared to this, the compost was inferior, particularly in relation to crop establishment and in creating a higher water demand. The growers were happy with the crop performance from compost, but saw the watering issue as a potential problem. They agreed that compost would be an attractive alternative during the rainy season. They also liked the fact that they did not need to apply compost to each crop, as they did with chicken manure. Whilst, growers would be willing to use and pay for MWC, both composts were too expensive to represent a viable alternative to other fertility inputs. However, given an appropriate blend of public-private-community partnerships and scales of operation which could harness opportunistic alignments between the needs of different actors, composting and its use in agriculture has potential in contributing towards sustainable development in the urban environment of Accra. With some modest policy support, the possibilities for improving quality and financial viability are considerable. Providing quality and price can meet the needs of growers, there is a market for MWC in Accra.

Authors/Creators:Hofny-Collins, Anna
Title:The potential for using composted municipal waste in agriculture
Subtitle:the case of Accra, Ghana
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :August 2006
Number of Pages:349
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-7114-1
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:urban wastes, composting, composts, urban agriculture, waste utilization, field experimentation, farmers, participation, ghana
Keywords:systems thinking, participatory, farmer experimentation, adaptive management, urban agriculture, municipal waste compost, waste management, Accra, Ghana
Permanent URL:
ID Code:1172
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: Anna Hofny-Collins
Deposited On:01 Sep 2006 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:10

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