Livestock manure management practices in rural households in Tapanuli Utara regency of North Sumatra
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Livestock manure management is a big challenge for low income economies including the region of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Currently, low percentages of manure managed cause illegal disposals, and negative impacts on public health and environment. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the current trends among livestock manure management practices in rural households and to recognize potential problems with it. The questionnaire survey using randomly selected households (n = 196) was administered in the province of North Sumatra, Tapanuli Utara regency, from July to August 2014; then followed by several field visits from August to September 2016. Data obtained in the survey were analysed with descriptive statistics and cross tabulation. Majority (81%) of rural households handle manure in the process of either composting (75%) or sun-drying (6%). Remaining 6% of the respondents does not handle manure at all. Manure could represent valuable energy and plant nutrition resource, if used appropriately. However, if not handled at all or handled inappropriately, it can lead to the environmental problems. Our results revealed that current ways of stabling of livestock are inappropriate from the environmental perspective. The stabling has got only dusty earthen floor, which makes difficult for farmers wash out the excrements and pollution. Hence, there is a need to improve manure management practice to eliminate potential threats as current practices do not protect either humans, animals or environment against the risk of contamination with potential zoonotic pathogens.