Farmers’ perception and willingness-to-pay for urban waste compost in ghana

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Major challenges arising from rapid urban growth in Africa concern urban food security and municipal waste management. Both challenges can be connected through waste composting. In fact, due to the high price of industrial fertilizer, organic waste stream products receive increasing attention as soil ameliorant especially for urban and pen-urban agriculture (UPA). The research study aimed at assessing the perception and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for composted solid and faecal waste among UPA farmers and other potential compost consumers in and around three major Ghanaian cities. It is based on the premise that a compost station can be established and pays for itself? Participatory Rural Appraisal and Contingent Valuation Methods (CVM) were used. Primary and Secondary data were used for the study. SPSS 10.0 was used in the analysis of the data. The analysis shows that despite, the conflicting signs for most of the predictor variables in the probit model. The application of the probit analysis reveals that the incomes, age, perceptions of compost quality, education of the farmers, were significant determinants of respondents’ responses to the WTP elicitation question. Concerning demand for compost in the study areas, the estimates suggest that under consideration of subsidies from the municipal authorities (i.e. if compost would be provided for free), the capacity of the compost stations would have to be in the order of 11,000 ty-1 (Kumasi), 5,000 ty-1 (Tamale) and l8,532 ty-1 (Accra) based on positive willingness to pay irrespective of reference price of compost. However, without subsidies, the effective demand for compost producers with farmers WTP at the reference price ($5USD) or more will be 940t per year in Kumasi, 1324 and 262 in Accra and Tamale respectively. In the case of Kumasi, using IWMI/KNUST pilot compost station as an example, it was interesting to note that, 38% of those farmers can pay at $5USD or more are all located in the pen-urban area (i.e. pen-urban vegetable farmers) and not among urban farmers who are used to cheap poultry manure. From the price and cost figures used in this study, there is no effective demand for compost unless and until someone (government) is willing to subsidies the price. Certain cost reduction options could be given the needed policy support if social and environmental benefits are viable or are considered by the city authorities.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2004