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Sanitized human urine (Oga) as a fertilizer auto-innovation from women farmers in Niger
Agronomy for Sustainable Development  (IF5.832),  Pub Date : 2021-07-29, DOI: 10.1007/s13593-021-00675-2
Moussa, Hannatou O., Nwankwo, Charles I., Aminou, Ali M., Stern, David A., Haussmann, Bettina I. G., Herrmann, Ludger

Poor soil chemical fertility and climate change restrict pearl millet grain yield in Niger Republic. Apart from the seedball technology, which targets majorly early phosphorus supply to the plants, the recommended practices of mineral fertilization and seed treatments (coating and priming) are barely affordable to the local farmers in particular. In the case of female farmers, who usually have chemically infertile farmlands often located far away from their homestead, low pearl millet grain yield can be exacerbated. In quest for a cheap, affordable, and effective solution, we hypothesized that the application of sanitized human urine (Oga), in combination with organic manure (OM) or solely, increases pearl millet panicle yield in women’s fields and on different local soils. In on-farm large-N trials (N = 681) with women farmers in two regions of Niger (Maradi, Tillabery), pearl millet panicle yields were compared between the control (farmer practice), and a combination of Oga and OM in the first and second year, and Oga alone in the third year. Our results showed an average panicle yield increase of about +30%, representing +200 to +300 kg ha−1. Major factors determining the yield effect are season, village, and local soil type. This study shows for the first time that Oga innovation can be used to increase pearl millet panicle yield particularly in the low fertile soils of women’s farmlands in Niger. Oga innovation is affordable, locally available, and does not pose a risk to resource-poor female farmers of Niger.