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Submitted by Mousumi Sepai, Last Modified on 2019-12-30

The technology which produces good quality organic manure by the use of suitable earthworm species from the waste material.

It has 3 important components:-

  • Vermiculture:- Through which steady supply of suitable earthworms species is ensured.

  • Vermicomposting:- Specially designed composting process of organic wastes where earthworms acts as accelerator.

  • Vermiconservation:- Through the increase in the number of earthworms, it also ensures the higher production of earthworms and thereby their conservation.


Merits of vermicompost:-

  • Vermicompost contains higher NPK contents which is about 8 times greater than any other organic manure.

  • C/N ratio in vermicompost remains in favourable condition which is very much conducive for the plants to assimilate nutrients.

  • Application of vermicompost creates a condition which enhances higher microbial growth in the soil and thereby leads to higher fertility.

  • All micronutrients are present.

  • Duration of composting is less than 2 months.

  • Termite resistant

  • Maintain soil texture and help water conservation by way of increasing water holding capacity.

  • Locally available wastes are recycled.

  • Vermiprotein may be utilised as feed in poultry and aquaculture.

Besides, earthworms can significantly influence soil structure and fertility in many way-

  1. They accelerate decomposition rate of organic matter in the soil and increase the simultaneously incorporation of soluble nutrients within the soil.

  2. They increase the number of water stable aggregates, improve the porosity, aeration, water infiltration and water holding capacity of soil.

  3. Through their life cycle patterns and activities, they increase the microbial efficiencies and water holding capacity of soil, promote deeper root growth and assist the incorporation of fertilizers.

Therefore, vermiculture and veremiconservation will faster earthworms density and diversity on the one hand and maintenance agro-environment on the order.

Ingredients used for vermitechnology:-

  1. Suitable earthworm species.

  2. Waste materials including organic wastes/biowaste.

  3. Suitable vermicomposting pits and other associated infrastructure.

  1. Suitable earthworm species:- The selection of suitable species is based on certain biological and parameters. We find 3 types of earthworms which can be used in vermiculture.

    1. Epiges:- The epigeic earthworms inhabit the litter heaps or any other degrading organic matter on soil surface. They have short life cycle with high reproduction and regeneration time.

    2. Endoges:- The endogeic earthworms inhabit mineral soil horizons and feed more on soil than on organic matter, therefore they are mainly geoghagoes.

    3. Anecidues:- The anecics are large sized worms with pigmentation only at anterior and posterior ends. They live in highly complicated furrow systems.

  2. Waste materials:- Waste materials for vermicomposting may be derived from several sources,

    1. Municipal waste
    2. Biowaste

    Municipal waste:- Municipal wastes are largely generated by urban human population and are some of the most problematic polluting and expensive to dispense with. In very developed cities in the world, the daily production of municipal sewage waste (MSW) per person varies from 2kg-4kg.

    Biowaste:- Biowaste arises from variety of human, agriculture, horticulture and industrial sources and can be considered to form three general groups.

    1. Waste of directly animal origin.
    2. Plant material
    3. Processed material.
  3. Vermicomposting pits and other infrastructure:-

    Well designed vermicomposting pits(cemented/ earthen) Or different sizes and shapes endowed with water removing channels and ventilators for ensuring steady supply oxygen are to be constructed. In order to protect the ongoing de-composting materials in pits along with earthworms from predators, direct sunlight and rainfall, all the pit are to be roofed with straws/asbestos/cement in accordance with the prevailing environmental conditions.

Vermicomposting process:-

Different methods are evolved for the earthworms to feed on the organic waste to convert them into manure.

In the composting pit, First programme is the preparation of bed. The bedding materials are generally hard/slow biodegradable agriculture stubbles, husk sand dust, sugarcane thrasts and much other. In the base of the culture tank this materials are used as a first layer, then this is to be covered with a thin layer of fine sand. Over the sand layer, another layer of garden soil are used.

After complain of the preparation of bed, suitable earthworms would feed on the soft material to begin with a release cast on the surface. The cast was brushed aside before adding fresh feed to earthworms. In the meantime, the material into dark humans. During the harvesting period soil and some quantity of sand may be mixed with the compost. Therefore to avoid this problem, preparation of bed may be. This may be ensured by directly using organic wastes with certain amount of cow dung and water.

Then, the pit is covered by hessian cloth. In this way the compostable wastes are predigested and generated heat. After 2-3 weeks, generated heat generally comes down and then earthworms are released depending upon the nature of waste materials, within 45-60 days, 60-70% of waste are converted into manure. During composting period moisture and temperature of pit should be maintained as (30-40%) and (25-30)% respectively.

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