Nelly Bassily | January 17, 2011
The project described in this story covers a municipality, and has three objectives: reducing methane emissions, cleaning up the town, and providing affordable organic compost for farmers. The driving force for the project − and the funding − comes from developed countries concerned with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But farmers can take similar measures without that kind of help. They can turn organic household wastes and crop residues into compost on a small scale, for their own use, if sufficient raw materials are readily available.
To read more about the project in Uganda, here are two links:
There are many methods for making compost, and a variety of resources on the internet that describe these methods. Here is a selection:
The preparation and use of compost – a booklet covering all aspects of compost-making that can be downloaded at no cost by clicking on the red pdf icon (1.6MB) on this page: http://www.agromisa.org/index.php?PageId=140&PerformAction=ShowDetail&RecordId=100&StartRecord=0&PublicationType=AD&PublicationCategory=12&PublicationLanguage=2527
Compost making for the mechanised age, a script and audio clip from Agfax: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=315
A video from West Africa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um07cEViUFU
Browse these two stories published in Farm Radio Weekly in the past:
Uganda: Turning trash into treasure (FRW 58, March 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/03/16/1-uganda-turning-trash-into-treasure-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala/
Cameroon: Farmers find manure a good substitute for expensive chemical fertilizers (FRW 28, July 2008)
For more information on compost, see the following Farm Radio International scripts:
Farmers can earn income producing compost Package 80, Script 3, March 2007
Dr. Compost talks about compost piles Package 61, Script 6, October 2001
Make compost in pits Package 61, Script 7, October 2001
Make compost as your vegetables grow Package 47, Script 1, January 1998
You can make compost in two to three weeks Package 47, Script 2, January 1998
Where to find compost materials Package 33, Script 9, July 1994
You may also wish to host a call-in/text-in show inviting local farmers to describe their experiences making or using compost. Be sure to ask:
-What materials do they use to make compost? Do they have sufficient materials?
-What techniques do they use to encourage the decomposition of the materials?
-How do they apply the compost (at what time in the planting season, in what quantities, etc.)?
-How has using compost affected their yields?
-What challenges do they face in making and using compost?