Knowledge for Development

EcoSanRes (Ecological Sanitation Research) Programme


Date: 01/06/2011


The EcoSanRes Programme, in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), is developing guidelines for the agricultural use of urine and faeces. The guidelines aim to educate ecological sanitation users about how to handle the urine and faeces in a safe and beneficial manner and thus promote the use of human excreta in agriculture. The use of human excreta as a fertilizer is beneficial from environmental, economic and social perspectives. Increasing crop yields through the use of sanitized urine and faeces is cost-effective (requiring only an investment in the ecosan toilet and secondary treatment system), and greater crop yields increase nutrition in the household and help to alleviate poverty. In addition, use of human excreta in agriculture aids in gender development, especially in households headed by women since these are often the poorest, by creating a possible source of income and improved nutrition. The guidelines are developed by gathering information from previously conducted experiments and comparing human excreta (as a fertilizer) to commercially produced chemical fertilizers. The guideline will be adapted to various climates and crops.

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