Vermicompost – It’s All About Worms
Vermicompost – It’s All About Worms

Tiju Yadav, aged 54, from Kapilvastu has finally solved his farming woes. Previously, he faced problems as he couldn’t find chemical fertiliser from the market when he needed it. Now he has been successfully engaged in commercial vegetable and livestock farming for three years, after receiving technical input and support from UMN’s project.

In Nepal, there are neither industries to produce fertiliser nor is any private sector allowed to import it. The government is solely responsible for managing its availability in the market through imports, but unfortunately, has been unable to provide enough fertiliser during farming seasons for several years. Although Tiju could have used manure from local animals for his crops, he instead used the animal dung to make dung cake. This is a fuel used to cook food, which is traditionally made from the waste of cattle and buffalo mixed with husk, straw, and dry leaves. When this biomass burns, dangerous gases are released and inhaled by people, especially women while cooking. It is also a source of carbon emissions.

To provide farmers with an alternative to chemical fertiliser and to reduce carbon emissions from burning animal dung, the project introduced farmers to vermicompost. This organic fertiliser is produced by earthworms after they consume compostable materials, including animal dung. Vermicompost is not only rich in nutrients but also loaded with the microorganisms that create and maintain healthy soil. Our project enhanced farmers’ knowledge and skills to develop this fertilizer. This included arranging a visit to a vermicompost site and providing them with earthworms. The project also oriented farmers on the issue of climate change and its potentially negative impact on local livelihoods.

Tiju attended the training. He also received two kilograms of improved earthworm species and then started to feed his animal dung to the worms, along with other decomposable waste. As a result, he produced about two quintals (200kg) of organic manure in the first three months. He has been using this manure for vegetables, which he has grown on 10 Katha  (3,386 sq mt) of land. He has also reduced his production of dung cake by 50 percent, substituting it with a gas cylinder for cooking.

With vermicomposting technology, Tiju has successfully adapted to the chemical fertiliser shortage and is contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. Even more importantly, the technology promotes sustainable local agriculture. He is thankful for UMN’s project as he has learnt a sustainable solution to soil nutrient management. Tiju is also sharing his new technological ‘secret for success’ with the other local farmers who visit him.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *