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Turning waste into value: using human urine to enrich soils for sustainable food production in Uganda

Andersson, Elina LU (2014) In Journal of Cleaner Production 96. p.290-298
Abstract
This article builds on an action research process involving Ugandan smallholder farmers in collaborative experimentation on the use of human urine as a crop fertilizer. The aim is to explore farmers' perceptions and evaluation of the practice as a potential and partial solution to soil productivity problems. Findings show that urine fertilization is valued as a low-cost and low-risk practice contributing to significant yield increases, suggesting important contributions to food security and income, especially for those who have few options in soil nutrient management. Weaknesses identified by farmers relate mainly to limitations in collection and storage capacity rather than to inherent traits of the practice. In conclusion, urine... (More)
This article builds on an action research process involving Ugandan smallholder farmers in collaborative experimentation on the use of human urine as a crop fertilizer. The aim is to explore farmers' perceptions and evaluation of the practice as a potential and partial solution to soil productivity problems. Findings show that urine fertilization is valued as a low-cost and low-risk practice contributing to significant yield increases, suggesting important contributions to food security and income, especially for those who have few options in soil nutrient management. Weaknesses identified by farmers relate mainly to limitations in collection and storage capacity rather than to inherent traits of the practice. In conclusion, urine fertilization should be acknowledged as a valuable strategy for supporting sustainable agricultural intensification. Furthermore, the importance of social norms and cultural perceptions should be recognized but not treated as absolute barriers to diffusion of the practice. Collective action, where groups of farmers jointly develop new procedures and adapt practices, serves as an important arena for social change and negotiation of norms and taboos, which can otherwise limit the acceptance and diffusion of alternative soil management practices. The research finally illustrates that transdisciplinary research can guide pathways towards sustainability through locally anchored and solutions-oriented knowledge generation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Action research, Collective action, Natural resource management, Smallholder agriculture, Sustainability science
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
96
pages
290 - 298
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000354342500028
  • scopus:84928213970
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.070
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d0d7ee36-cec4-40b9-9ba0-cbc9ce2af1d8 (old id 4810376)
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652614000948
date added to LUP
2015-06-23 10:05:18
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:45:38
@article{d0d7ee36-cec4-40b9-9ba0-cbc9ce2af1d8,
  abstract     = {This article builds on an action research process involving Ugandan smallholder farmers in collaborative experimentation on the use of human urine as a crop fertilizer. The aim is to explore farmers' perceptions and evaluation of the practice as a potential and partial solution to soil productivity problems. Findings show that urine fertilization is valued as a low-cost and low-risk practice contributing to significant yield increases, suggesting important contributions to food security and income, especially for those who have few options in soil nutrient management. Weaknesses identified by farmers relate mainly to limitations in collection and storage capacity rather than to inherent traits of the practice. In conclusion, urine fertilization should be acknowledged as a valuable strategy for supporting sustainable agricultural intensification. Furthermore, the importance of social norms and cultural perceptions should be recognized but not treated as absolute barriers to diffusion of the practice. Collective action, where groups of farmers jointly develop new procedures and adapt practices, serves as an important arena for social change and negotiation of norms and taboos, which can otherwise limit the acceptance and diffusion of alternative soil management practices. The research finally illustrates that transdisciplinary research can guide pathways towards sustainability through locally anchored and solutions-oriented knowledge generation.},
  author       = {Andersson, Elina},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Action research,Collective action,Natural resource management,Smallholder agriculture,Sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {290--298},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Turning waste into value: using human urine to enrich soils for sustainable food production in Uganda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.070},
  volume       = {96},
  year         = {2014},
}