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Efficient use of resources: urban waste ash and soil fertility on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria

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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.

Keywords: Jos Plateau; heavy metal analysis; socio-economic production constraints; soil fertility; urban waste ash; vegetable production

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Arid Zone Studies, University of Wales Bangor, Bangor LL57 2UW, Email: 2: School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE

Publication date: March 1, 2005


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