|BERLIN - A German state said on Tuesday it had set up the world\'s first centralised database to buy and sell liquid manure.|
\"As far I know, this is the first manure market of its kind,\" Thomas Griese, deputy minister of the environment in North Rhine-Westphalia, told Reuters. \"We are now waiting for our first customers.\"
Germany produces some 150 million cubic metres of liquid manure each year, mostly from pigs, according to the federal agricultural research agency.
But some farmers have more manure than they can dispose of while others are short and need to buy mineral fertilisers to spread on the land.
So the ministry came up with the idea to create a central database that records who has manure and who needs it, Griese said.
The liquid waste, to be transported in trucks and sell for four to five euros ($5 to $6) per cubic metre, may not be carried further than 100 kms to a destination.
\"In theory we could carry it across Germany, but we do not want to risk spreading germs or bother people with the smell,\" Griese said. Limiting the travel distance also put a lid on transport costs.
He said the manure will be mostly from pigs, but animal exrement will be mixed together for the market exchange, which will not distinguish between manure from different species.
Other countries such as the Netherlands have also had problems with manure disposal.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE