Domestic solid waste recycling at community level in Rodrigues
Domestic solid waste recycling at community level in Rodrigues
The main economic activities of Rodrigues are agriculture and fishing. Rodrigues, since its autonomy in 2002, plans to further promote itself as an Organic Production island. The island has a rich heritage of traditional food items, which can be produced and marketed with an organic label. Giving a boost to Rodriguan agriculture is one of the main activities defined in the five-year Plan for the Non-Sugar Agricultural Sector. “Training of farmers and planters in Rodrigues, the adoption of new technology with a view to enhancing their agricultural productivity has been well emphasized in the plan. Furthermore, it is reported that tourists in Rodrigues more and more request biovegetables as they fit with the image of Rodrigues as a tourist destination as being natural, typical and “safe“ food.

Development of a sustainable agricultural industry in Rodrigues is highly dependent on having a rich soil base. Overgrazing and the topography of Rodrigues have led to significant land degradation in several regions. Sustainable land management is nowadays one of the main priorities of island states and most particularly Rodrigues which has a high level of soil erosion. Combating land degradation has also been emphasized in the recently launched project on Integrated Development Plan for Rodrigues (SIDPR). Sustainable land management is highly dependent on sustaining the soil. This can be achieved by continuously replenishing the soil with natural organic matter, which can be obtained with compost. Composting would produce a material rich in nutrients, micro-organisms and organic matter which will nourish poor and nutrient depleted soils where crops have been planted on a continuous basis.

This project consists in building capacity in recycling organic wastes, compost making and utilization on an island-wide basis in Rodrigues. The overall objective is to train farmers to produce their own composts to be used in agricultural practices in view of addressing sustainable land management practices to achieve global environmental benefits. The initiative and drive for this project comes from the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) and the Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel & Association des Planteurs de Mourouk for the purpose of a comprehensive approach towards adoption of new agricultural practices.

This project forms part of a cluster of projects related to promotion of sustainable agricultural practices including the improved management of agricultural and animal wastes. The four projects on
1. Developing sustainable agricultural practices in Rodrigues through capacity building in composting,
2. Sustainable Animal Waste Management in Rodrigues,
3. Municipal Solid Waste Recycling among farmer communities in Rodrigues, and
4. Pilot demonstration facility for windrow composting of agricultural wastes;
work towards the same goal to create a bigger positive impact on the agricultural and environmental sectors of Rodrigues.

A preliminary study was conducted by the consultant with the community members during a mission visit in April 2005, to identify key issues pertaining to the formulation of the complete project proposal. This was made possible by using the planning grant scheme under the GEF Small Grants Programme. The National Coordinator (NC) for GEF-SGP , the Chairman and a member of the SGP National Steering Committee formed part of this feasibility visit. The consultant had meetings with the Deputy commissioner, responsible for Agriculture, the Chief Engineer, the President and executive members of the Associations, Mr Karl Allas and Mr Sookaria, the officer in charge of the agriculture division in Rodrigues. During the meeting, the consultant presented international and local composting practices and discussed about the proposed project. The basics of composting and project elements were also discussed with the Associations des Agriculteurs at Citronelle. Site visits were conducted at the valley of Mourouk, Petit Gabriel and Nouvelle Decouverte to be able to assess the needs of the different communities.The main conclusions of the mission visit were as follows:

· All five regions of Rodrigues will be considered for demonstrating composting practices. The training and community wide composting would include the regions of Citronelle, Trefles, La Ferme, Marechal, Centre of Rodrigues.
· Different types of wastes will be used including animal wastes and green wastes.
· There was a deep interest on the part of the different associations. Some members were already aware of the benefits of composting and were practising some sort of composting.
· The associations were interested in both types of composting; windrow and rotary depending on the quantity of wastes. The river valleys where farmers had small plots of land such as Mourouk are more interested in rotary composting whereas farmers with large amounts of wastes would like to compost in windrows.

Objectives of proposed project:

This project looks into building capacity and sharing knowledge in the area of composting as well as developing community wide composting programs over the whole island. The overall and primary objective of the project is to promote safe agricultural practices, promote the production of biovegetables in Rodrigues, boost the yields of farmers and thereby increase their income and address land management in a sustainable manner.

Secondary objectives include recycling of organic wastes, producing a safe compost of good quality and applying compost produced on vegetables in view of reducing usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

This project is a follow up and upscaling of a successful SGP composting project in one agricultural valley with one association of planters ( Riviere Banane project on sustainable agricultural rtechnologies)

Suitability of project:
This project seeks to promote activities that demonstrate ways of adopting best practices to prevent contamination of international waters and combat land degradation. It concentrates on community initiatives to recycle organic wastes to produce good quality composts that can be used in agriculture. It is in line with the new operational program 15 on Sustainable Land Management “whereby compost, by acting as a soil conditioner would improve the soil organic matter, reduce land degradation and also act as a carbon sink.

The project is also in agreement with the Country programme Strategy of the GEF-SGP which promotes activities to eliminate land and seabased sources of pollution. It is in accordance with the vision of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly and the Government of Mauritius to promote Rodrigues as an organic island

Intended end results
By the end of the project, it is expected that a pool of local trainers in Rodrigues has been created, enterprises in Rodrigues have been developed in constructing the rotary composters, farmers will be trained in compost making and utilisation, composts will be used in agricultural practices and improvement of the soils will be achieved in the context of sustainable land management.

Result dissemination:
A seminar will be held at the end of the project to present the key outcomes. A report based on the experience gained in “CAPACITY BUILDING and COMMUNITY WIDE COMPOSTING “ will be produced for dissemination. This report will be made accessible to all GEF Small Grants Programme and will be shared on the GEF-SGP website and the internet in general.

The total budget of the project is estimated to be Rs 1,465,460 ( US$ 47502 at the rate of 1 U$ = Rs 30.85). A request of Rs 1,033,260 (U$ 33493) has been submitted to the GEF-SGP. Other cofunding in kind and in cash are
R Ministry of Environment, National Environment fund
R Rodrigues Regional Assembly
R Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel & Association des Planteurs de Mourouk

2. The NGO responsible for this project is the “Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel &
Association des Planteurs de Mourouk”. The NGO regroups the community farmers in Rodrigues in the region of Petit Gabriel and Mourouk.

The primary objectives of the project are to build capacity in compost making and develop small scale composting in river valleys of Rodrigues with the Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel &Association des Planteurs de Mourouk. Other objectives are as follows:
· Training at grass root level on rotary composting and utilisation of municipal solid wastes
· Maximising the production of composts from available municipal solid wastes
· Reducing the amount of organic wastes in municipal solid wastes to be disposed of
· Reducing the use of inorganic fertilizers in vegetables and fruits plantations’
· Reducing pressure on the Roche Bon Dieu dumping site
· Providing biovegetables to consumers

3.3 Rationale of project
This project seeks to promote activities that demonstrate ways of adopting best practices to combat land degradation. It concentrates on community initiatives to recycle organic wastes to produce good quality composts that can be used in agriculture. It also aims at reducing the use of chemical fertilizers thus reducing the impact of leaching of nutrients during agricultural runoff. It is thus in line with the operational program 15 of the GEF, under the focal area of Sustainable land management. It falls under the GEF-SGP category of demonstration and capacity building.

This project is thematically linked with other GEF-SGP projects for the safe treatment of municipal solid wastes using the composting technology.

3.4Intended results
By the end of the project, it is expected that
· Training of 200 farmers in river valleys on recycling wastes and using compost will have been provided
· Compost produced will be used in vegetable plantations and will have reduced the use of chemical fertilisers as the compost will provide the nutrients to fertilize plant growth
· The Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel & Association des Planteurs de Mourouk will have been trained in compost making from animal wastes
· The risk of contaminating surface and ground water will have been reduced.
· A natural soil conditioner will have been provided, which will help towards adoption of sustainable land management practices.


Project Snapshot

Association des Planteurs de Petit Gabriel & Association des Planteurs de Mourouk
Area Of Work:
International Waters
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 33,493.03
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
(230) 213 53 84
(230) 212 14 11


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