Urine Bank in Siddhipur: Supplying Urine for Agriculture
Jeevan Maharjan, a local farmer of Siddhipur VDC, proudly says "We provide healthy agricultural products to our customers in our vegetable market", but what makes this statement special is that he uses urine as a fertilizer. Even more surprisingly, he is not the only farmer in Siddhipur who can make this claim. There are many others, like Jeevan, who only use urine and faecal manure in their farmland instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Led by a research team from Eawag, Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) a research project about the potentials of urine as a fertilizer, was conducted in Siddhipur. Farmers were complaining that the productivity of different crops had been decreasing over the past years, and thought it could be due to the repeated use of chemical fertilizers. Hence, farmers began to use urine to fertilize their crops because urine provided the required nutrients, in an appropriate balance, to maintain soil fertility and increase productivity.
The Eawag research team held a urine use and application workshop with the farmers of Siddhipur and helped facilitate the farmers to form a urine user committee. The user committee has now established a “urine bank” in Siddhipur with the technical and financial support of Eawag and the UN-Habitat Water for Asian Cities Programme Nepal.
The urine bank was officially launched on 17 May, 2010, and was inaugurated by Dr. Roshan Raj Shrestha, Chief Technical Advisor for Water for Asian Cities Programme, UN-HABITAT, South Asia Region. At the inauguration ceremony, he stated that the bank would be helpful for the farmers to access the required amount of urine that they needed to fertilize their crops. Furthermore, he believes that by providing a centralized bank for urine collection and distribution, the environmental sanitation condition in the village would be improved. He also suggested that, in time, the villagers could about establishing more urine collection centers in other parts of the village to make it easier for all farmers to access the urine supply.
Currently, the committee has appointed one employee, who has the job of going door to door to collect the urine and bring it to the urine bank. The collected urine is stored in two tanks, each with 1000 liters of storage capacity.
The user committee plans to provide urine to the farmers at the rate NRs. 1.00 per liter to generate funds to pay for the collection, operation and management. Fifty percent of the amount raised in this way is saved by the user committee (for future construction, repairs, etc.) and the remaining 50% of the income will be used to pay the staff.
The launching of the bank has made the farmers of Siddhipur hopeful that they will be able to access and use an adequate amount of urine. And, although they need to pay for the urine, they are glad to have a urine collection center in their area since they see urine as an effective and efficient fertilizer which can help to increase the quality of their agricultural products and improve soil productivity.
Tags: Staff Bringing Urine To U , Urine
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