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Chirere, Thabani Eddington Sithabile, 2016. A way out of food insecurity and poverty : the potential of using fly larvae composted faeces as organic fertiliser in sub-Saharan Africa agriculture. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



Chronic food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has become an issue of major concern. An estimated minimum of 25 % of the population suffers from malnutrition, and thousands of people die of hunger everyday. Food insecurity in SSA has been attributed to the fact that 75% of the region’s soils are nutrient deficient, mainly due to nutrient mining. An increasingly growing population has had to face a decreasing agricultural production resulting in food insecurity. Currently, some methods to replenish soil nutrients are being used, including crop rotation,application of animal manure as well as mineral fertilisers. However, these methods have not been sufficient to address the issue of soil nutrient depletion. The aim of this study was to 1) investigate the potential of using black soldier fly (BSF) composted human faeces as a fertiliser for use by smallholder farmers in SSA; and 2) to investigate the perceptions held by people from Africa regarding the use of human faeces in agriculture. The Social-Ecological Systems Framework was used to guide the study; and hard and soft systems methodologies were employed in support of the framework. Pot trials were carried out in the greenhouse using Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) to investigate the effect of black soldier fly larvae composted human faeces on the availability of nutrients and their uptake by the crop, and the subsequent plant growth; comparing with the effect of mineral fertilisers, black solider fly larvae composted food waste and cow manure. Semistructured interviews were carried out and agricultural experts from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda were interviewed to see how farmers and consumers would perceive the use of human faeces as a fertiliser to produce their food, and try to understand the reason to their perceptions. It was found that there is no significant difference in yield if crops are fertilised using either BSF composted human faeces or mineral fertiliser (NPK). Furthermore, it was found that most farmers and consumers would not accept the use of human faeces in agriculture due to various reasons, ranging from personal values, culture, religion, fear of being bewitched, etc. In Uganda, it was highlighted that a few farmers had accepted using their own faeces for food production because of the associated yield increase and the saved cost of buying mineral fertilisers. This study concluded that if accepted by farmers and consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, BSF composted human faeces could be used as a cheap source of plant nutrients, boosting agricultural productivity, evading food insecurity, hunger, undernourishment, and above all poverty reduction.

Main title:A way out of food insecurity and poverty
Subtitle:the potential of using fly larvae composted faeces as organic fertiliser in sub-Saharan Africa agriculture
Authors:Chirere, Thabani Eddington Sithabile
Supervisor:Khalil, Sammar and Lalander, Cecilia
Examiner:Jensen, Erik Steen
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:food insecurity, hunger, human faeces, black soldier fly, social-ecological systems, sub-Saharan Africa, farmers, consumers, perceptions, poverty
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Fertilizing
Deposited On:11 Oct 2016 13:54
Metadata Last Modified:12 Oct 2016 04:01

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