Recycling of nutrients, waste and water in urban and peri-urban agriculture inLagos
Date: 2013-03-07 14:35:01 User: Vide Adedayo
Kindly find below a submission by Vide Adedayo, Department of Geography, University of Lagos. Nigeria.

The utilization of various form of waste for urban agriculture in Lagos Metropolis is an important phenomenon in developmental practices due to its numerous positive roles in sustainable development. Waste recycling and utilization for agriculture is not a new phenomenon but a traditional method of providing nutrients for plants, enhancing soil quality and creating livelihood for farmers. In those days, waste re-recycling for food production was highly effective and efficient because there was less reliance on modern inputs like hybrid feeds, insecticides and chemicals for animal production and household activities. Today, apart from the reasons for the earlier application of waste for agriculture, waste is use to strengthen farm soils and softens the ground without consideration for its sources, quality and suitability for crop production and no standard measurement and packaging system is considered in Lagos. With the agricultural sector becoming relatively modern, waste from livestock production for example has become a mixture of agrochemicals and chemical, from cleaning and treating diseases associated with animal production. With this development, it is expected that waste from livestock used for food production such as vegetable is treated to retain nutrient, increase yield and minimize diseases transfer from animal to human before used but this is not so. Knowledge on standard composting processes, mechanisms and techniques among urban farmers is lacking due to lack of skill insufficient space and time, paucity of capital and the burdensomeness of the long composting processes and inadequate access to other needed materials. This situation is further exacerbated by national and local social, economic, political and environmental factors.
The followings are therefore some of the interventional options that could be relevant for examination.

Increase in communityís knowledge and support for waste recycling

Public education aimed at more balanced and objectively potential benefits is an effective tool for transforming urban agricultural practices including waste recycling innovations through all types of media. This could build the capacity of community members and also enhance the needed impetus to broadly understand how nutrient recycling for urban agriculture could improve livelihood from its present state in Lagos into a more developed instrument against hunger and poverty, environmental deterioration and unemployment. Nutrient recycle could also be inculcated into public, private and vocational schools curriculum which would form an essential component of any action plan to increase the peoplesí knowledge and support for urban agriculture. Like in other countries legislator and government administrators should be sensitized on nutrient recycling for urban agricultural activities to facilitate its adoption in all critical and relevant formal programmes and projects. Capacities of the extension agents need to be built to enhance their expertise and enable them attend to problems that need urgent solutions.

Nutrient Monitoring

Nutrient monitoring in waste management is important to retaining nutrient quality. This could be achieved through training on treatment systems (safe transportation, sorting, grinding, storage, packaging, application, and protection. This would preserve waste nutrients and further reduce health risk associated with its uses.

Balance synergy among stakeholders

People that shared interest and take decisions that influence waste and nutrient recycling for agricultural activities need to be encouraged to come together to have common understanding on important issues on nutrient and waste recycling in Lagos. These could be achieved through partnership with farm community associations, government actors and non-state actors (non-governmental organization, local and international agencies). This could promote constant exchange of information, the end result being to develop synergies and coordinate interventions based on shared interests.

Access to agricultural resources and inputs

Special line of credit should be provided for urban farming entrepreneurs and existing agricultural credit quota should be preserved for them. Urban farmers should be provided with access to market and market information. Market place could be created for small entrepreneurs who are keen in nutrient and waste and recycling business and helping them to form cooperative for input acquisition, management and marketing. The backward and forward linkages between urban farmers and other associated recycling entrepreneurs would strengthen both the processors, marketers and urban farmers at large.

Exploiting opportunity

The activities of waste and nutrient recycling need to be monitored and regulated for urban agriculture. This could be adopted through small scale, simple, easy to manage and maintain technology at household, community and state levels. According to Redwood (2004) the benefit of using cured organic waste as animal waste is ratio five to one meaning that every dollar spent on treatment system is five dollar made from agricultural yield. For example simple household anaerobic treatment systems in Palestine have achieved a recovery of 55% waste implications on food production. Engaging in the treatment system at the local and state levels would create more livelihood opportunities to the increasing urban unemployed and under employed and also improve the urban local economic development through backward and forward linkages. This should be linked with land accessibility because waste treatment and composting is land driven. Making land available and accessible through less stringent measures would reduce the threat the present state exhibits.

Date: 2013-05-08 14:02:09 User: Marielle Dubbel
Presentation on urban wastewater re use in agriculture: (starting from minute 30)
Supurbfood. Towards sustainable modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning - - Disclaimer