Science & Technology

In a large experiment, human pee was used to fertilize the crop.This is what happened

Nowadays, peeing on your edible plants may be considered a terribly wacky gardening hack, even though the habit has proven beneficial for thousands of years.

But our modern squeak means that gardeners and farmers alike have to rely on expensive fertilizers to provide their crops with the very necessary nutrients they can find for free on our pee. did.

However, fertilizers are often unavailable to some farmers who are most in need of these additional nutrients. Like remote farmers in the Republic of Niger, many farmers face severe weather conditions as well as depletion of soil nutrients and struggle to produce crops.

So a team led by Hannatou Moussa, a researcher at the National Agricultural Research Institute of Niger, considered reviving this ancient practice of using pee as a fertilizer, which is used in parts of Asia. safety.

A group of women in Niger volunteered to help Mussa and her colleagues test urine fertilizers on their farms. In these harsh lands of sub-Saharan Africa, women provide a higher proportion of the workforce for food production than men, but managing land and resources also provides easy access to information. You can’t do that either.

These women often end up in the most undernourished fields for growing the local staple grain, pearl millet.Sandburs).

First, the woman named the fertilized product Oga. This is translated into “boss” in Igbo. This helped to smoothly overcome social, religious and cultural barriers to open discussions on human urine use.

After that, the volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group continued to use traditional farming methods and the second group applied Oga to the experimental plot after being trained in safe use with or without animal manure.

The production of industrial fertilizers usually involves the intensive mining of ores containing phosphorus and potassium. By burning natural gas at high temperatures, it isolates the highly needed nitrogen from the air we breathe. CO2-Intensive chemical reaction.. Above all, plants use all three of these elements for photosynthesis.

However, our urine is already filled with phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen in an easily accessible form.

Moreover, compared to our poop, pee is relatively sterile when leaving our body thanks to the ammonia in it. Simply store the canister passively at a temperature of 22-24 ° C (71-75 ° F) for 2-3 months. Enough to destroy the remaining pathogens Can withstand long periods of time in acidic liquids.

Therefore, the women were trained in this disinfection process and how to dilute and use the resulting Oga. For the first few years, they applied Oga in combination with organic fertilizers, and when it was successful, they were a game enough to try Oga alone.

After three years (2014-2016) and 681 trials, those who used Oga increased their pearl millet yield by an average of 30%. The difference was so obvious that many other women in the area started using Oga.

“Oga is a low-risk, low-funding fertilizer option ready to spread to sandy Sahel sites with low pearl millet yield levels,” the researchers say. Written in their dissertation..

The use of this product in developed countries not only increases crop yields and reduces the resources that consume large amounts of fossil fuels needed to grow them. More sustainable hygiene system..Group of Sweden, USA, Australia We are also considering the use of widely used urinary fertilizers.

“We spend millions of dollars a year on waste disposal before it receives water at acceptable nitrogen and phosphorus standards,” said Cara Beal, an environmental health researcher at the University of Griffith. increase. I told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Earlier this year when we discussed the possibility of a trial in Australia.

“But if we could close that nutrient loop, it would be very wise in terms of sustainability, the circular economy, and a little better care of our planet.”

Two years after the experiment in Niger, more than 1,000 female farmers began using Oga to fertilize their crops.

This study was published in Agriculture for sustainable development..

In a large experiment, human pee was used to fertilize the crop.This is what happened In a large experiment, human pee was used to fertilize the crop.This is what happened

Back to top button