Manure is a valuable source of nutrients, organic matter and renewable energy. If it is not managed properly, nutrients and organic matter can be lost, creating impacts on the environment and public health.

The Manure Management Kiosk as launched in 2014 as a one-stop-shop for information and resources on manure management. The focus is on capturing methane as an energy source, reducing air and water pollution, and optimising nutrient utilisation for crop production. It identifies practical ways to integrate good manure management practices into livestock systems, with an emphasis on enhancing food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kiosk began as a joint project of the Livestock Research Group‘s Manure Management Network and the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, with funding from the Agriculture Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

In 2014, a qualitative assessment of manure management practices was carried out in 34 countries in Central and South America; Sub-Saharan Africa; and South, East and South-East Asia. Participation in the assessment was voluntary.

The study found that a key barrier preventing farmers from improving their practice was a simple lack of awareness and knowledge about the potential value of good integrated manure management. Other barriers identified included:

  • Limited access to credit
  • Lack of customised solutions for simple manure storage
  • Lack of skilled labour
  • Few communication materials tailored to local circumstances.

“Farmers inherited knowledge in manure management and practices from their ancestors. But the economic and environmental circumstances have changed. Farmers with access to active extension services show a strong willingness to practice integrated manure management, including producing biogas and using bioslurry for crop fertilisation.”

                                   -Le Thi Xuan Thu, Vietnamese agriculture expert

The Manure Knowledge Kiosk responds to these barriers by bringing together a subject library on manure management practices, an entry point for the Livestock Geo-wiki, and a global network of experts who can help with policy and institutional development, knowledge exchange, awareness creation and capacity building, and manure technology. It operates via a central hub in Rome, Italy, and three regional centres in Asia (Stockholm Environment Institute), Africa (ILRI) and Latin America (CATIE). The Kiosk also compiles relevant news and events on integrated manure management.

Reference: Teenstra, E. et. al. (2014): Global Assessment of Manure Management Policies and Practices. Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Wageningen.