Waste disposal constitutes an acute problem in numerous African cities. One solution could lie in the recycling of the nutrient-rich waste into agriculture taking place in and around cities. Farmers involved in vegetable production around Jos, Nigeria, have developed a sophisticated soil fertility management strategy combining inorganic fertilizers, manure and urban waste ash. This paper: (1) investigates the socio-economic constraints linked to obtaining scarce organic inputs, particularly urban waste ash and the health hazards (particularly heavy metal contamination of soil and crops) caused by using this ash and (2) suggests ways to improve use of this important resource.
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