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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Agricultural waste management for horticulture revolution in sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstract

Agricultural activities, which basically involve the production of raw produce and subsequent value addition normally, generate substantial waste, which could be in solid, liquid or gaseous forms. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the disposal of these wastes, which come from a myriad of sources or agricultural activities, constitutes a huge challenge. Even though these wastes are economically viable when properly managed by conversion to organic fertilizer and eventual use in crop production, they often exert hazardous effect on the environment due to improper disposal or management. Properly managed wastes deployed in conservation agriculture could enhance ecological balance and ensure sustainable crop production system intensification leading to elevated levels and quality of yield. Positive utilization of these wastes holds great prospects for SSA, which is characterized by accelerated population growth that puts undue pressure on available land, declining soil fertility and crop yield as well as high rate of youth unemployment. Horticulture essentially involves intensive cultivation of specialty crop (fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, seedlings) and, thus, often pays special attention to soil fertility management. The crops are largely grown under protected environments (modified or controlled environments), consequently, requiring among other variables high soil/ substrates fertility. Organic manure generated from agricultural wastes is a putative source of good-quality and cheap nutrients for optimum crop performance. Converting large volume of available agricultural wastes in SSA to organic manure for horticultural field production and/or to organic substrates for protected crop production and commercial nursery will revolutionize horticultural industry in the subregion. This review explores the various types of agricultural wastes generated in SSA, their possible or potential utility in the horticulture industry and advocates their proper management and utilization in horticulture to enhance environmental quality, increase crop yield and quality and improve economies and livelihoods across SSA.

CAB Review details