Waste management in urban and peri-urban intensive dairy production systems: A case study of Makindye and Ssisa Sub Counties
Smallholder dairy production is increasingly becoming recognised by urban and peri-urban dwellers as an important source of income. Previously, some farmers used to practice smallholder dairy production as a hobby however, as farmers begin to realise its benefits it is then considered a commercial activity. Although intensive smallholder dairy production is a valuable source of income and nutrition for numerous households, the wastes generated from the cattle management units has potential to become hazardous to the communities. The major aim of this study was to assess the status of waste management in intensive urban and peri-urban dairy production systems in Ssisa and Makindye sub counties. Specifically to; estimate the quantity of wastes generated from intensive dairy production systems in the dry and wet seasons, study the effect of location on waste management in urban and peri-urban areas, assess the effect of dairy cattle waste management methods on fodder yields and milk production, and finally to identify options for improving dairy cattle waste management in the study area. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and studied 100 farms in six parishes. Three parishes were selected from each sub county to ensure that both urban and peri-urban households were represented. The overall number of cattle in the study area was 285 including improved and indigenous of which 132 were in urban settlements while 153 were in peri-urban settlements. Of the cattle above 230 were improved while 55 were indigenous. The research showed that, wastes from intensive dairy production systems was 25% higher in the wet season than in the dry season in both urban and peri-urban settlements. There was less utilisation of the wastes in farmlands by urban households as compared to peri-urban households. Urban farmers heaped the wastes in anticipation of selling them. The heaped wastes affected close neighbours in terms of odour and overflows mostly in wet seasons. On the other hand, some peri-urban farmers composted and applied the waste in gardens and fodder plantations. The study results also indicated that location in terms of urban or peri-urban settlements does not affect waste management. In addition, when the wastes were applied as manure, they had effects on both crop and milk yield. As such, suggested strategies for improving waste management included, research into more uses of the wastes from intensive dairy production systems, monitoring of dairy cattle production units, government intervention through policy formulation and implementation, registration of farmers and formation of farmer groups to aid marketing of the wastes for manure use. The above strategies could help improve smallholder dairy waste management however, this is also dependant on individual attitudes of the farmers and hence waste management sensitisation would also be a critical requirement.