A team of researchers from several institutions in Niger, Germany and the United Kingdom conducted a real-world test of the use of human urine as a natural form of crop fertilizer. In their report published in the journal Agronomy for sustainable development, The group describes an experiment conducted with female farmers in the Republic of Niger and the use of human urine.
People have known for thousands of years that their urine is an excellent fertilizer for crops. Contains phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium– Many of the same ingredients as commercial fertilizers. However, due to the grief associated with the use of urine for growing crops, its use is limited. However, many gardeners know about the benefits of it and thus use it around the world to help people grow healthy food for their families. In this new effort, researchers wondered if human urine could be used on a larger scale, such as growing crops. They sought the help of a group of women living in an isolated part of the Republic of Niger. Farmers there have been struggling for many years to fertilize their own pearl millet cereals hampered by the price of commercial products and the shortage of animal manure.
The first step in the experiment involved renaming the urine, as its common name was considered offensive. They stopped at Oga. They then divided the farmers into two groups; one manages his farms in the traditional way, the other fertilizes his wheat with the help of Oga. For two growing seasons, harvest were measured for both groups. The oga for the second group of 27 farmers was provided by the farmers themselves, who were trained on how to pasteurize, store and dilute their urine for use as fertilizer. They also add small amounts of animal manure.
Data collected from farms show that those that have been fertilized with Oga produce an average of 30% more grain than traditional farms. The researchers note that the differences were so great that other women in the region began to emulate those in the experiment. Two years after the experiment, they found that more than a thousand women farmers use Oga to fertilize their crops.
Hannatou O. Moussa et al, Sanitized human urine (Oga) as an automatic innovation of manure from female farmers in Niger, Agronomy for sustainable development (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s13593-021-00675-2
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