Vermicomposting: Recycling Wastes into Valuable Organic Fertilizer.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 8 uri icon


  • The large quantity of organic waste, nearly 700 million t yr-1, generated in India is either burned or landfilled posing a problem of safe disposal. To mitigate this problem all the waste can be converted intohighly valuable nutrient-rich compost in an environment friendly manner. Vermicomposting is one of thebest methods of composting any kind of organic matter, which could provide a ?win-win? solution to tacklethe problem of safe disposal of waste and also provide most needed plant nutrients for sustainableproductivity.Vermicompost improves growth, quality and yield of different field crops, flower and fruit crops.Vermicomposting contributes to recycling of nitrogen and augments soil physico-chemical as well asbiological properties. Microbial biodiversity was checked and higher diversity was recorded in the partiallydecomposed organic material for the vermicompost than in the vermicompost. All kinds of organic materialcan be used for vermicomposting however, Gliricidia, tobacco leaves and chicken droppings are not suitablefor earthworm multiplication but can be composted with earthworms. The optimum temperature forvermicomposting is about 20?30°C and moisture content ranges from 32 to 60% only. It is a very simpleprocess and easy to practice as well as cost-effective pollution abatement technologyThe training programs for women self-help groups (SHGs) covered technical aspects of makingvermicompost and its application to various crops. These programs have been conducted by ICRISAT withsupport from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and District Water ManagementAgency (DWMA) in Adarsha watershed (Kothapally) in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and easternRajasthan. A noxious weed, Parthenium hysterophorus (locally referred as vayyari bhama or congressweed) was found abundantly on field bunds in Kothapally and other regions of Andhra Pradesh, whichinhibited the crop growth and caused environmental pollution. Some case studies of women who havecome forward to utilize this weed as raw material for vermicomposting, a safe weed disposal mechanism,have been presented in this report

publication date

  • 2004