Impact of Agricultural Waste on Sustainable Environment and Health of Rural Women

Cajethan Uche Ugwuoke, Nnenna Monwuba, F. M. Onu, A. G Shimave, E. N. Okonkwo, C. C. Opurum


The study worked on the impact of agricultural waste on sustainable environment and health of rural women.  Three specific objectives were formulated for the study and included to identify the constituents of agricultural waste, to determine the environmental and health impact of agricultural waste and to determine the effective management techniques of agricultural wastes. Three research questions and three null hypotheses were also formulated in line with the specific objectives. Survey research design was adopted for the study. Population for the study was 3970 representing 450 registered livestock farmers, 3270 rural women and 250 environmental health workers in Anambra State.  Proportionate random sampling technique was used to draw a sample of 350 respondents representing 40 registered livestock farmers, 286 rural women and 24 environmental health workers. Questionnaire developed by the researchers was used to collect data. The instrument was face validated by three experts and reliability was tested using cronbach alpha method which yielded a coefficient of 0.86. Data were collected with the help of fifteen research assistants and 325 instruments were retrieved representing 81% return rate. Mean and Standard Deviation were used to answer the research questions while ANOVA was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance and at the appropriate degrees of freedom. Any null hypothesis whose p-value was greater than 0.05 level of significance at the appropriate degrees of freedom was upheld while a null hypothesis was rejected when the p-value was less than 0.05 level of significance at the appropriate degrees of freedom. The findings of the study indicated that animal faeces, urine, used litter, beddings, animal carcass, dairy parlor washings, waste milk, wasted feed, feedlot run-off, paunch waste, abattoir waste water, animal viscera, horns, feather, bones, blood, fur, placenta, birth tissues, fetal membranes, aborted fetus among others are the materials that constitute agricultural waste. It was also found that that air pollution from burning of agricultural wastes, air pollution from cesspools, dioxins from burning agricultural wastes, dirty environment from heaps of agricultural wastes, stench/odour from decaying agricultural waste, defacing of the environment, eutrophication of water bodies, aquatic life destruction, spontaneous abortion, blue-baby syndrome, prolonged mensuration and early menopause, among others are the environmental and health impact of agricultural waste on rural women. It was recommended among others that Extension workers should properly educate farmers on the dangers of agricultural wastes and sensitize them on proper disposal methods.

Keywords: agricultural waste, environment, health, rural women, pollution.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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