On the 3rd of June, the University of Ghent together with Inagro organised a workshop for SMEs and producers. During this workshop, some of the most important results of the farmer survey, performed in 2019 on what farmers want from their fertilisers, was shared with producers. This can help them cater their products, recycling-derived fertilisers (RDFs) better for their target market, which are mostly farmers.
The most relevant results that came forward from the farmer survey, were:
- Though the term ‘recycling-derived fertilisers’ is not well known, the products themselves are. 55% of respondents had already used some of these products – primarily compost – in the past, or were still using them. The experience with these specific products, was mostly positive.
- The acceptance of the farmers towards the products depends on the origin. Though RDFs originating from food waste would be most likely accepted, RDFs from animal manure and sewage sludge are less popular. This is most probably due to legislative barriers or prejudice regarding contamination.
- The properties farmers expect their fertilisers to have, are preferably a granular texture, a known NPK concentration that fits the crop requirement, organic matter and certification to prove its worth.
- Of course, also price is important. If RDFs would not be more expensive than mineral fertilisers, a lot of farmers would be willing to replace their mineral fertilisers with RDFs. Though there is also a minority that would not replace their mineral fertilisation either way.
The producers present found these results visibly interesting and had a lot of interest in the more detailed reports. A successful workshop!