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Urban and peri-urban agriculture in Karthoum, Sudan

Material Flows and Resource Efficiencies of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in the Capital Khartoum, Sudan

Funding: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Project duration: 2006-2009
Project leaders: Dr. Jens Gebauer, Prof. Dr. Andreas Buerkert, Dr. Kamal El-Siddig
PhD students: MSc Sahar Abdalla, MSc Ishtiag Abdalla, MSc Moiez Fadul

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is becoming increasingly important, especially in large cities in Africa. It provides food and other commodities for urban populations that are often growing twice as fast as the country's total population. However, high inputs of fertilizers, agrochemicals, use of urban waste and wastewater to produce crop and livestock products pose different risks of contamination to produce and the environment depending on the location. The proposed institute partnership intends to record (nutrient) substance flows in the UPA and their negative side effects using the example of the Sudanese capital Khartoum via a targeted combination of training and research components. In addition, this research will contribute to the development of proposals to increase resource efficiency and to estimate the loads of pesticides, heavy metals and fecal germs in soils and horticultural products.

For this purpose, four representative farms will be selected in a first step. In the second step, the horizontal inputs and outputs of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) at the soil-plant-animal interface will be recorded over the course of the year at the selected sample farms. Atmospheric emissions (denitrification and ammonia loss) will be determined at representative time points using a mobile multi-gas photoacoustic monitor, and leaching-related nutrient losses (N, P, and K) will be measured by installing Si-carbide suction plates. In addition, selected horticultural products will be investigated for their contamination with pesticides, heavy metals and fecal germs.