Shasha village located in the Masisi territory, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resorted to using human urine solution as an organic fertilizer to improve its yields in recent years.
Farming remains one of the main economic activities in the country. The DRC's agricultural sector employs over 60 percent of Congolese labor and comprises 19.7 percent of GDP, according to the International Trade Administration ITA.
However in Shasha village, there has been decline in agricultural production due to lack of inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. The land is also becoming less and less arable due to lack of nutrients. The village used to supply large cities with agricultural produce, however, in recent years, the village has increasingly become food insecure.
To overcome this problem, many field owners resort to buying human urine from neighbors or other inhabitants of the village, which they then use as organic fertilizer.
The farmers begin by placing plant-bands in in the fields, then spray with human urine, which after a month's conservation has the capacity to kill any insect that may attack the plant. Afterwards, the farmers then put their seeds in their fields before a second spraying.
The method works perfectly well and the production of the fields increases again according to Mr Kanyama, one of the local farmers.
Human urine solution has become a hit in the village and many local farmers have seen an increase in their yields. Souzana Rupiya, is one of the farmers in Shasha village stated that before, her field used to produce two and a half bags of dry beans. During the last harvest, she got only one bag. Afterwards, she started to apply this alternative of human urine and little by little she can now see its results.
While for the farmers, this practice increases the productivity of their fields, for the other young people of Shasha, it is a way to make some money by selling a 20-liter can of urine for 12,000 Congolese francs, or 6 American dollars.
Kahindo Lubuto Mwajuma, is one of the young persons in the village trading in the supply of urine to farmers. She stated that its is something she has been doing for some time. Together with her friends, they are able to provide for their families by selling human urine solution to local farmers.
Following a strong demand from farmers who, due to lack of access to organic fertilizer, resort to this alternative, this human urine solution is becoming scarce and its price is likely to rise in the coming months.
It remains to be seen if this human urine solution method will be adopted by other villages in the country. There is a high chance that the method will spread throughout the country.