EU, Waste Advisers & Council Want Costly Fertilizers Replaced
The European Union says Malawi should realize that with the scarcity and increasing costs of fertilizers, composite manures are an alternative for the attainment of food security.
Head of Cooperation Ivo Hoefkens said this in Lilongwe at the launch of the Lilongwe City Council compost site, which is expected to enhance waste management, thereby creating worth and job opportunities, at the same time improving the soil which is losing nutrients.
The European Union has partnered the Waste Advisers and the Lilongwe City Council, to collect and recycle the city’s waste, aimed at improving soil structure, 15 to 40 tons of which per hectare is said to be washed away annually.
“Malawi’s soils are critically low in carbon and nutrients due to erosion and poor soil structure. Compost is a readily available resource that can help Malawi move towards sustainable food systems, that is why Malawi should now know that this is the solution to rising cost of fertilizers,” said Hoefkins.
He added that the production has come at a critical time when fertilizer cost is skyrocketing following the Russian incursion in Ukraine, as well as other factors, thus the manures should replace the costly fertilizers.
Managing Director of the implementing organization Waste Advisers Billy Bray, said the project solves the health, economic and food security challenges, and fits well with some sections of the Malawi Government’s 2063 development blueprint, of attaining food security.
According to Bray, the project calls for an individual as well as corporate sector responsibility, for the country’s agriculture sector to move forward, and be productive.
“The manure production calls for all stakeholders to take it up as a crucial aspect of the agricultural, health and economic transformation, which at a larger picture will improve the livelihoods of Malawians, at the same time improving waste management in the capital city,” he said.
He added, “To start looking at waste from a new perspective, lets utilize this site. At this site we can convert that waste into a rich compost. And with that compost, we can restore our soils; with our soils restored, our productivity can improve; and with productivity increased then it’s food security, so it’s really a fantastic venture.”
The Lilongwe City Council chairperson responsible for Health Vumani Chidzanja Nkhoma said the program is a relief to pressure exerted by the ever-increasing human population in the Capital City.
“We used to have challenges with regards waste management. We used to struggle with waste due to increasing numbers of residents in the city, so this initiative will reduce the burden that the City Council used to have,” said Nkhoma.
The project which has been running for the past 12 months and aims at collecting and recycling 70 percent of the city’s waste, has already treated 54 tons of waste.