Circularity of Nutrients in Agroecosystems and Co-benefits on Animal and Human Health

  • Background

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    Smallholder crop-livestock farms in sub-Saharan Africa are confronted with limited access
    to plant nutrients, particularly synthetic fertilizers. The low use of synthetic fertilizers is attributed to financial constraints, which are exacerbated by current global events like the Ukraine war and volatile energy prices, and jeopardize food security and nutrition in Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMIC). As a consequence, organic alternatives for plant nutrients,
    specifically livestock manures, are critically needed to enhance crop yields and improve soil fertility. However, inadequate manure management poses risks, including nutrient losses, environmental pollution, and health issues.

  • Aims

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    Little is known about which practices can address both environmental and health concerns
    at the same time, while also ensuring good nutrient availability for crops and being feasible for smallholder farmers. The CIRNA project addresses these questions in a multidisciplinary approach that balances biophysical, social, health, and economic dimensions of manure management in Kenya and Uganda.

  • Relevance

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    Very high as the project provides essential information on the current agroecological status
    of mixed-crop livestock farming system in East African and thus contributes to the sustainable, climate smart and healthy transformation of the agricultural and food system.