Animal or human urine makes good fertiliser

In Rwanda, farmers are using animal and human urine as fertiliser. The impact on yields is impressive, as the large quantities of urea contained in urine can be highly beneficial to plants. But it is important to know how to apply it. This simple technique involves putting the urine in containers which are then covered and allowed to rest for about 2 weeks. The liquid must then be diluted since otherwise its high nitrogen content would risk burning the plant roots.

The strength of the solution varies according to crops: for 1 l of urine, you need to add 4 l of water for vegetables, 2 l for maize and 1 l for bananas. The ratio also changes according to the time of year: less water is needed in the rainy season since rainwater helps dilute the urine.

The main obstacle to this method being more widely used is the reluctance of many farmers to use this kind of waste, even though they are quite happy to spread cow dung on their fields as fertiliser.

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