The quest for manure by Katsina farmers is leading them to decomposed garbage, which has now become a goldmine of sort.
Traditionally, in the eve of the rainy season every year, farmers got themselves busy conveying and spreading manure in their farms to improve fertility and yield.
Manure contributes to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients such as nitrogen that are
trapped by bacteria in the soil; higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that
comprises the soil food web.
It is also a product obtained after decomposition of
organic matter which replenishes the soil with essential
A 68-year-old farmer at Yankara, Faskari LGA, Malam
Usman Sanusi, said compared to what obtained in the
past, population explosion was the main factor
responsible for the high cost of manure/humus these
“About 30 to 40 years ago, farmers were only
concerned about manure from decomposed animal dung,
especially that of goats, sheep and cattle. Those
involved in animal rearing, mostly women gave the
manure to their husbands and neighbours free of charge.
There was enough manure in our neighborhoods because
livestock rearing was part and parcel of our society and
the population was not as much as it is now,’’ he said.
He added that with the proliferation and wider
acceptance of fertilizer among farmers, organic manure
was partly abandoned until in recent years when farmers
realised that the fertility of their farms was gradually
“The farmers are fast demanding for organic manure,
while the number of livestock rearers has significantly
reduced with modernisation, hence, manure is now a
scarce commodity, especially with the growing number
of farmers nowadays. This is now forcing farmers to
look for decomposed garbage to make humus out of it
at a costly rate,” Malam Usman added.
Daily Trust observed that those that are into livestock
are making money from their animal dung, especially that
of sheep, cattle and goats.
Poultry droppings are also gaining farmers’ acceptance
considering they are better manure than cow dung or
other farmyard manure because of its rich nitrogen,
phosphorous and potassium content.
Similarly, decomposed garbage is fast becoming a
lucrative avenue for the locals, who sieve nylons, stones,
metals and other hard substances before selling the
humus to farmers at a high price.
A livestock rearer in Funtua, Malama Safiya Idris, said
she has been selling manure to farmers in the past 10
years and that she uses the proceeds to buy feeds and
medicine for her animals.
“This year alone, I sold manure generated by my sheep
worth N85,000 and I have been selling it in the past 10
years. Every year, I have a set of farmers that book for
it and sometimes they make advance payment to show
their seriousness; and I use the proceeds to buy animal
feeds and settle their medication expenses,’’ Malama
Malam Isah mai Itace, another farmer, said it was the
scarcity of animal dung that made the farmers to resort
to the use of decomposed garbage.
“Shortage of animal dung has made the decomposed
garbage inevitable by farmers as the youth are taking
the advantage of it by sieving and preparing it for use in
the farms. Last week we bought humus worth N145,000
which we used in three farms along Zaria road,’’ said
He added that though many farmers knew the quality of
manure/humus they are supposed to buy, some bought
dark or burnt sand in the name of manure because
people were becoming so desperate to make money out
In the search for manure, people are indirectly engaging
in sanitation exercise yearly as garbage areas and
drainages are evacuated to the farms in the eve of the
rainy season, allowing for easy passage of water and
general cleanness of residential areas.
(Culled from Daily Trust)