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Fecal sludge derived products as fertilizer for lettuce cultivation in urban agriculture

  • Pradhan, Surendra K.
  • Cofie, Olufunke O.
  • Nikiema, Josiane
  • Heinonen-Tanski, H.
Publication Date
Dec 11, 2019
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Fecal sludge (FS) contains a significant amount of plant nutrients. FS (treated/untreated) has been used as soil ameliorant in several countries. Use of FS-based compost on lettuce may meet reservations due to possible microbiological contamination. The objectives of this research are: (1) To determine the fertilizer value of different formulations of sawdust and fecal sludge compost (SDFS) pellets, and (2) to compare the effect of these SDFS formulations with poultry manure, commercial compost, mineral fertilizer, and non-fertilization on lettuce cultivation. The SDFS products were made by enriching, and pelletized with ammonium sulphate, mineral-NPK, or ammonium sulphate + muriate of potash + triple superphosphate. Lettuce was cultivated in a greenhouse and an open field. The result showed that the saleable fresh weight lettuce yield obtained from all SDFS pellets with/without enrichments were higher than those obtained from commercial compost, poultry manure, mineral fertilizer, or no fertilizer. Cultivation in the open field gave higher yields than those in the greenhouse. No helminth eggs were detected in composts or lettuces. Some fecal coliforms were detected in lettuces fertilized with almost all fertilizers tested, including NPK and non-fertilized control. A properly treated fecal sludge-based fertilizer can be a sustainable solution for lettuce production, which helps urban and peri-urban agriculture.

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