Promoting Affordable Sources of Plant Nutrients in Africa Through Innovative Composting Alternatives
African Union Commission
Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture
November 26-30, 2012
Program Fee: US $1,300 (before October 26, 2012) or US $1,500 (after October 26, 2012)
To meet the food requirements of Africa's ever-growing population, it is estimated that food production will need to grow from 40 percent to 100 percent over current levels. The lower end of the range is the minimum to maintain the status quo in food production per capita. Intermediate estimates take into account the desire to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for reducing hunger and poverty. Estimates at the higher end also take into account the likely rise in food demand from a growing middle-class in most African countries, particularly with respect to increasing consumption of animal-based protein which requires increased levels of grain production. Under any scenario, the absolute growth in food supply required is unprecedented in Africa's history. Unfortunately, Africa has the most depleted soils in the world, with the annual nutrient loss from the continent’s soil estimated to be about US $4 billion. Particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, nutrients removed through crop harvests are at least four times more than nutrients returned to the soil in the form of manure and fertilizer, resulting in excessive negative nutrient balance in croplands. There is a critical need to reverse the trend of soil nutrient depletion and to meet the food requirements of the growing populations and protect the environment for future generations.
While declarations of the African Union Member States at the Abuja Fertilizer Summit in 2006 that “fertilizer, from both inorganic and organic sources, is a strategic commodity without borders” have given considerable political momentum to issues of soil nutrient depletion, affordability of fertilizers remains a key constraint to intensification. This constraint is exacerbated with the recent increases in the prices of the primary inputs (i.e., natural gas) for the production of inorganic fertilizer. From this perspective, the use of fertilizer from organic sources can be promoted as a complement to chemical fertilizers, with the recognition that in the short-term, inorganic fertilizer will continue to provide the main sources of plant nutrients and organic fertilizers alone cannot provide the marginal yield increases needed to achieve food security in Africa.
Large quantities of solid waste are generated in urban areas of all African nations, which include household, market, horticultural and agricultural waste. The average solid waste generation is about 0.4–0.6 kg/person/day for most African countries. The high content of organic matter (50–90 percent) provides an opportunity for exploitation through composting processes. However, rather unfortunately, in African countries, organic manure resources are no longer fully explored or exploited. Unlike in rural communities, there is usually little or no return of food biomass and related nutrients into the food production process. Most waste ends up in landfills or pollutes the urban environment. This is transforming cities into vast nutrient sinks, while the rural production areas are becoming increasingly nutrient deficient. For example, statistics in Ghana show that in Accra and Kumasi, 255,000 to 366,000 and 230,000 to 250,000 tons of organic waste, respectively, are effectively available annually for composting, meaning that these amounts are already collected and have no other current use. The nutrient content of this waste in Accra alone is estimated at 3,500 to 5,300 tons per year of nitrogen, 1,700 to 2,600 tons per year of phosphorus and 760 to 1,100 tons per year of potassium. These amounts could easily cover the entire nutrient demand of urban farming in Ghana.
More recently, pilot programs in some African countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria have already indicated that the recycling of waste for fertilizer can be done with the development and transfer of safe sound plant nutrient technology. The productive use of municipal and human waste to generate fertilizer offers an important and affordable source of plant nutrients to improve soil fertility, yields and food security in Africa. This process involves heating – sterilizing – compacting – granulating to come up with a clean and acceptable product. The training program is therefore designed to build the capacity of the participants to take full advantage of the enormous municipal and human wastes generated in order to improve agricultural productivity and move toward food security in Africa. The training seeks to address the type of storage/collection and treatment needed in order to determine how much of these resources can be recovered and harnessed, and at the same time, how safe the final product is for the end-user. The training will promote the productive use of municipal and human waste for fertilizer in Africa based on existing initiatives on the continent.
Training Program Objective
The objectives of this five-day training program include:
- Improving participants’ capabilities to overcome constraints that hamper waste recycling and the feasibility of recycling strategies and their contribution to ensuring sustainable agricultural productivity and improved sanitation in rapidly growing rural, urban and peri-urban environments.
- Increase participants’ knowledge of the principles and methodologies of solid waste and fecal sludge collection, storage and handling to ensure efficiency.
- Update participants on the development of innovative composting technologies to enhance the effectiveness, aesthetics and applicability of the composted material to increase acceptability among smallholder farmers.
- Increase participants’ knowledge on: (i) proper handling of composted organic fertilizer to eliminate any risks associated with their use; (ii) calculate optimal application rates; and (iii) the long-term benefits of their use on soil health.
- Identify sound policy options for promoting municipal and human waste fertilizer use and supply in Africa.
Who Should Attend
- Personnel tasked with successful organic waste land application programs, environmental engineers and consultants, agricultural engineers and all those dedicated to sustainable land application of organic residuals, including agronomists, soil scientists, irrigation experts, fertilizer manufacturers, researchers and extensionists from national and international agricultural research institutes and universities, as well as policy-makers from governments and ministries in charge of agricultural productivity and sanitation planning.
- Executives and managers of fertilizer and agricultural input organizations, as well as innovative farmers will find this program extremely useful.
- Representatives of international organizations and donors involved in developing strategies for increased agricultural production through the use of emerging technologies that promote solid waste and fecal sludge composting, organic farming and increased efficiencies will also benefit from this program.
- National commissions of agriculture, as well as international associations of horticultural producers will also find the program useful.
- Municipal authorities committed to clean environments through sustainable waste management in urban and rural communities.
The topics to be addressed by a faculty of experts will cover the general concepts associated with:
- Site-specific management of municipal and urban wastes, including solid waste and fecal sludge and the impact on:
- Human health and nutrition.
- Innovative alternative composting will be discussed with respect to:
- The pilot plant and input materials.
- Physicochemical and microbial characteristics of composting feedstock.
- Solid waste and fecal sludge mixing ratio for co-composting.
- Turning frequency, co-composting process and co-compost quality.
- Co-compost maturity (Cress test).
- Options of enriching the compost in order to suit specific crop needs.
- Bases for successful and sustainable land application of organic materials to improve soil productivity:
- Characteristics of organic material critical to sustainable land application.
- Soil characteristics and management practices critical to sustainable land application of organic materials.
- Calculation of application rates consistent with sustainable land application based on organic material and soil characteristics and regulatory guidance.
- Principles of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM).
- Policy issues for promoting municipal and human waste fertilizer use in Africa:
- Discussions of tools and necessary policies for promotion and information dissemination on municipal and human waste fertilizer use in Africa.
- Viable public and private partnerships: regulations and risk sharing.
- Policy and regulatory frameworks to provide guidelines for the safe use of waste for fertilizer production.
The five-day training session will include lectures, research reports, field visits and demonstrations of tools and methodologies. These will demonstrate the current technologies that can help both compost producers and smallholder farmers improve their productivity and livelihoods while simultaneously preserving the environment. All training deliberations and presentations will be conducted in English.
The program faculty will include subject matter experts from IFDC and partner organizations.
The training will take place in Accra, Ghana, at the Erata Hotel – a three star facility situated in the serene environs of East Legon and residential area in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Conveniently located; a 10 minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, 30 minute drive to Accra City Center, 20 minute drive to Aburi Botanical Gardens and 5 minute drive to the University of Ghana. Erata Hotel has over 50 well-furnished, air-conditioned rooms and offer a complimentary shuttle from the airport. Participants will be extended IFDC’s negotiated special rate of US $80.00 per person/per night for bed and breakfast (inclusive of taxes). This rate is valid for reservations made NO LATER THAN October 26, 2012. After this date, reservations will be subject to room availability and at the best available rate. Coordinates are:
Ouagadougou Avenue, Okponglo, East Legon
P.O. Box KIA 9968
Telephone: + 233 30 251 5192-4, +233 54 433 6761, +233 26 300 3927, +233 54 433 6738
Telefax: +233 30 250 5119 Web Site: www.eratahotel.com
E-Mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants will be responsible for reservation and payment of accommodations at the Erata Hotel. Participants should plan to arrive in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, November 25, 2012.”
Visa and Medical Insurance
APPLICATIONS FOR VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
Participants who are not eligible to enter Ghana without a visa should apply at the nearest consulate of Ghana for a visa. All required immunizations and health formalities should be completed. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The training program fee does not cover any medical insurance or expenses.
Cost and Enrollment
The program fee for this training course is US $1,300 per participant. This fee is due with enrollment but no later than October 26, 2012. A non-refundable deposit of US $200 is required with each registration. The deposit will be credited toward the program fee which is due four (4) weeks before the program is scheduled. Thereafter, a Late Fee will apply. The program fee, less the deposit, will be refunded for cancellations made two (2) weeks before the commencement of the program. Ninety percent of the paid fee will be returned and 10 percent, in addition to the deposit, will be charged to cover administrative costs for cancellations made between two (2) weeks and one (1) week before the commencement of the program. Cancellations made less than one (1) week before the commencement of the program will receive no refund.
Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Paid participants will receive priority. Registration and program fee payments should reach IFDC by October 26, 2012. Those received thereafter will be accepted at IFDC’s discretion and incur an additional US $200 late fee. An organization wishing to enroll more than one participant should supply information and payment for each participant.
Payment of the program fee can be made by: (1) check or draft payable to IFDC; (2) wire transfer to IFDC’s account in the U.S.A. through First Metro Bank, 406 West Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., ABA number 062203955 for credit to IFDC Account number 55281; or (3) major credit card – MasterCard, Visa or American Express.
The program fee covers registration, training and reference material, coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation on field trips. The fee does not include air travel, lodging and dinner expenses, or medical and communication expenses.
IFDC is a nonprofit, public international organization (PIO) dedicated to increasing agricultural productivity and food production through the development and use of plant nutrients in sustainable crop production systems. Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., IFDC is involved in human resource development, research and technical assistance in collaboration with public, private, national and international organizations throughout the world. IFDC has conducted more than 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs for about 10,000 participants from 150 countries since 1974. The programs have covered a wide range of subjects including integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealership, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.
About the AUC’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture
The African Union Commission’s (AUC) Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) was established with the objectives of promoting agricultural and rural development and ensuring food security for Africans, and achieving sustainable development and improved livelihoods for the population, and ensuring effective protection and development of the African environment underpinned by sound environmental and natural resources management including disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change. AUC-DREA’s mission is “to work with Member States, RECs, African Institutions, Parliamentarians, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Women, Youth and Children, Academia, Researchers, Civil Society Groups, Private Sector and Development Partners to strengthen the agricultural sector, rural economies and the environment in order to improve the livelihoods of the African people and ensure poverty eradication.” AUC-DREA and its regional technical agencies provide the needed political leadership; facilitate policy coherence, harmonization and coordination required in addressing the challenges related to agriculture, rural development, environment and natural resources. Together with the NEPAD Agency, RECs, Member States and other key institutions, it strives to address the strategic issues by capitalizing on the opportunities and developments toward achieving AU’s goals for its Member States.
For more information:
Director, Training and Workshop Coordination Unit
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (256) 381-6600
Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408
As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.