A wonder fertiliser from waste
'Vermicompost', an organic fertiliser produced from household waste, straw and shrubs with the help of earthworm, is not only environment friendly but also a deterrent to pest attack on croplands. It also increases taste of vegetables, users claim. Its is becoming popular among farmers because anybody can produce it in the backyard. At least 100 families in Khaserhat area in Sadar upazila are now commercially producing the fertiliser and earning their livelihood. They sell it at Tk five per kilogram.
The production method is very simple. A heap of household waste, straw and shrubs mixed with cow dung is left in a damp and dark place for about seven days to rot. Some earthworms are then let loose on it. The earthworms eat the rotten wastes and release those. The heap is then dried in sun. The compost is ready for sale.
Vermicompost is said to be environmentally friendly, lessen pest attack, increase taste of vegetables, fruits
Vermicompost is more effective for all crops than chemical fertiliser and has no side effect, said Anisur Rahman of the Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES), an NGO which initiated the process in 2000 in Khaserhat. So far, CMES has trained 25 youths who are now commercially producing the fertiliser. "We are getting better result by using this compost", nursery owner Nur Banu of Khaserhat told this correspondent during a recent visit to the village. Less irrigation is needed if this fertiliser is used because the soil can retain moisture, she claimed.
Dr Prof Wahid-uz-Zaman, Vice-chancellor of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU), who did some research on 'vermicompost' said this fertiliser has manifold benefits. It has no side effect like organic fertilisers. Experiment showed that pest attack was lesser on croplands where this fertiliser was used. Vegetables and fruits produced by using vermicompost are more tasty and nutritious, he claimed (Daily Star, 13. 07. 04).
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