Need for fertiliser for crop production

June 6, 2017

Malawi Placeholder

Need for fertiliser for crop production

About the Implementing organization

Name: Environmental Industries

Country: Malawi

Year of establishment: 2007

Type of organization: Community enterprise or business


In Malawi using fertiliser made from human wastes is a taboo. Worse still urine has been regarded as stinking waste and hazardous to health. Now the mindset has changed a snifter demonstrating the application and safety of Bionitrate.

By subjecting the urine to airtight ageing chambers, the substance changes chemistry from being acidic to being alkaline. Therefore the bad smell and any potential germs are eliminated. The product is now safe for human consumption.

Bionitrate is applied to both compost manure and crops or lawns for nitrogen. It competes well with chemical fertilisers in performance. Results show that Bionitrate improves crop yield up 130% against chemical fertilisers.

Nature Element


Type of Action

Sustainable use / Pollution prevention, clean up

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

Bionitrate fertiliser restores soil fertility. Most soils in Malawi have become badly degraded due to heavy application of chemical fertilisers for over 50 years. Consequently, the soils have become acidic. Micro-organisms die in extreme acidic environment and so does the soil. However, application of Bionitrate raises the soil pH which is conducive for the growth of soil microorganisms. Therefore the 1240 tonnes of compost manure fortified with Bionitrate per annum has improved about 300 of agricultural soils. And the 156,0000 Bionitrate applied directly has improved about 1000 acres of agricultural soils per annum.

By turning human and other organic wastes into viable products were saving the environment from pollution.

Sustainable Development Impacts

1. Jobs and livelihood: Urine for wealth has boosted incomes for about 100 entrepreneurs engaged urine harvesting trading as raw materials for making Bionitrate fertiliser. More so they blend Bionitrate with compost for improved fertility of the manure.
2. Food security. Application of Bionitrate for crop production is boosting yield from kitchen gardens. Bionitrate is a readily available fertiliser at the household level. Most consumers of Bionitrate cannot afford chemical fertilisers.
3. Sustainable use. By making fertilisers from human urine we are recycling wastes into viable products, minimising wastage.
4. In Malawi, the tendency is dump solid and liquid wastes into rivers. We are preventing about 156,0000 litres of urine and 1240 tonnes of solid waste from going into rivers.
5. By recycling human urine into fertilisers we are contributing to improved sanitation and health in public markets. The organic fertiliser has led to the production of organically grown crops.


Making fertiliser from human urine is scalable because the raw material is cheaper and locally available from every household. In Malawi, animal wastes are a scarce commodity. Malawi cities have crowded public markets. To scale up the technology we need to construct urine harvesting and storage facilities in those markets. We need tanker vehicles for distributing the finished product. Finally, we need to mount a strong marketing campaign to create demand for Bionitrate.


The technology for making is simple and locally available. Designer ecological sanitation toilets for urine harvesting are constructed with local materials.

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