Estimating the demand for municipal waste compost via farmers' willingness-to-pay in Ghana
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This paper has its primary focus on the analysis of perceptions and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for composted municipal solid and faecal waste among urban and peri-urban farmers and other potential compost users in Ghana. Participatory rural appraisal and contingent valuation methods (CVM) were used for the demand analysis. Most respondents were clear and firm in their responses to the principal question about WTP for compost, as well as in giving their views and perceptions about issues involved in demand for compost. The probit analysis proved valuable in highlighting variables, which explain variations in the WTP. The WTP analysis allowed the quantification of the compost demand under different scenarios of subsidized and non-subsidized compost production, with due allowance for a local reference price to cover compost station operating costs. The analysis revealed that the effective demand for compost for agricultural purposes is marginal and limited by farmers' transport costs. Only through the additional consideration of the demand of the construction sector can about 25% of the organic waste produced in Ghana's capital, Accra, be transformed and utilized. Public subsidies appear necessary and could be generated through savings in transport and disposal. Without subsidies, the challenge for an increased agricultural use is how to produce a low-cost but nutrient-rich compost, which can compete with abundant and cheap poultry manure and still achieve the price to maintain a compost station. The experience in Ghana shows that this is hardly possible except through private-public partnerships. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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