Month: August 2013

Environment friendly Vermi-Compost

No Comments

Vermi-compost (an environment friendly compost produced using earth worm) has created a positive trend among hundreds of farmers in Phulbaira upazila of Mymensingh. The compost is very helpful for the farmers and the environment as well, sources said. The farmers need less money to make the compost and it is much cheaper than chemical fertilizers, farmers said.

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) under its project Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Programme (CPRP) is running the vermi compost programme at Koyer Chala, Bakta, Enayetpur, Rangamatia, Kanchichura and Nischintapur villages in Phulbaria to make the rural poor women self-reliant through producing vermi-compost

The vermi compost can be produced easily at home stead using a  cement slab ring or a big earthen bowl (chari) to keep the earth worms. Once bin is ready, bedding materials like sand, small pieces of brick is put in it. The worms put in the bin are covered with a layer of bedding, gunny bags or other structure to protect the worms against sun, downpours and birds. Twenty kgs of cow dung along with 20 kgs bio-waste like straw, hyacinth and vegetables waste are kept in the bin as feedstock for half-kg worms.

The amount of bio-compost what the earthworms eat up, they release its half amount as ‘tea dust like’ stool which is called vermi compost. Later the vermi-compost is separated through chaloni (sieving/straitening).

At initial stage a grower will get 20 to 25 kgs vermi compost after 45 to 60 days. But the harvest period is reduced when the worms’ number increases at the bins, said CCDP sources.

The surplus worms can be sold at TK. 1500 per kg. One kg vermi compost is sold at TK. 8 while price of chemical fertilizer is much higher, said sources. Now some 200 women are involved in vermi compost production in Phulbaria.

In comparison with the chemical fertilizers, vermi compost is better as it has nutritive value for containing the soil fertility. It also helps the soil to grow plants even in the dry season, said  CCDB sources. The vermi compost improves soil organic matter, maximizes retention of nutrients in the soil and maintains balanced soil level, sources added.

Like many vermi-compost producers, Jahan Ara of village Koyer Chala is producing vermi compost at her home stead. She started vermi compost production one year ago and now she produces around eight  per month and sells it at TK. 8 per kg.

Fatema, another woman of the same village now earns around TK. 3000 per month. Fazila of Bakta, Aysha of  Nischintapur while Hasina and Jamila of Kanchichura village started producing vermi compost, seeing Fatema’s success.

Talking to this correspondent, some farmers of Koyer Chala said, they use vermi compost in their bitter-guard and brinjal fields and received a good result then using  of chemical fertilizers.

Anwar Hossain said, they needed a little amount of TSP fertilizers after using vermi-compost this year and the production cost came down.

The farmers also observed less pest attack in their fields after using of vermi-compost, farmers informed.

Debasish Kumar Dey, area manager of CCDB said, vermi compost will not only help to improve the soil condition, it will also reduce the use of chemical fertilizer in great deal. He also said, DAE should include vermi compost in farmer training curricula to train the farmers on vermi compost so that they can produce and use it in their fields.

The environment friendly vermi compost can also be an income generating programme for the poor rural women, added the official.

Narayan Chandra Basak, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension here said, this compost fertilizer is an ideal nutrient source for plants as it is rich with  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than other traditional composts and it is beneficial for natural environment.

Vermi compost, also an excellent fertilizer for maintaining ecological balance can make the soil’s structure well for good production decreasing the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, said the deputy director. The vermi compost can help to produce chemical free crops, he said adding “when the plants are strong, normally they face less pest attack”. Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam, a professor of Soil Science Department of Faculty of Agriculture at Bangladesh Agricultural University said, vermi compost contains organic matters and increases water holding capacity, improves soil structure easing the water movement and aeration into the soil.

Garbage Menace in Mymensingh

No Comments

As many streets littered with garbage, leftovers of household foodstuffs, Mymensingh Municipality has now turned a nasty town, creating a nuisance for the environment and the town dwellers as well.

Unbearable atmosphere is observed in many areas of the town including at Naha Road, Horikishore Roy Road, Kalibari Road, Charpara, Krishtapur and Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Road of Shaheeb Quarter area.

More than 50 tones of garbage and filth are generated every day in the district town which covered a total area of about 22 square kilometers.The municipality belongs to class one status but its the civic amenities are far below the expectation of its dwellers.

Most of the streets, lanes and by- lanes often remain unclean for days together for lack of maintenance and clear.The number of dustbins in the town is not up to the demand, sources said.

There are some 306 dustbins put up across the town and these are seen always remain overflowed with garbage as these are not removed regularly.

The stench from these dustbins is simply nauseating pedestrians, creating the adjacent environment unfit for living, sources said. Only five trucks are stated to be in operation to remove the garbage and filths from the town. The trucks are too inadequate compared to the requirement, locals alleged.

The local people accused the municipal staff of negligence of duties in clearing the garbage and filths regularly. Repeated appeals of the residents to the municipal authorities to remove the piled up filths and garbage often goes unheeded, said Ashim Roy, a resident of Horikishore Roy Road.

Contacted, mayor of Mymensingh municipality Ekramul Haque Titu told this correspondent that the authorities are trying their best to mitigate the problems created by ‘garbage menace’ in the municipality. Pragmatic steps will be taken soon to render  a garbage free environment in the town.

Indiscriminate Sand Lifting in Mymensingh

A number of important installations including the Mymensingh Town Protection Embankment, Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge and Muktijuddha Memorial are threatened due to indiscriminate lifting of sand and earth from Brahmaputra riverbed in the district.

According to sources, the government’s Mineral Resources Bureau in Dhaka authorized some traders to lift the sand and earth from nine point of the river in Mymensingh sadar upzila. These are Begunbari, Goonti, Khagdahar, Jailkhana Ghat, Kachari Ferry Ghat, Kalibari Farris Ghat, Bridge Ghat, Boira Ghat, and Bhabokhali Ghat.

But the lessees belonging to different political parties including the ruling Awami League are lifting sand and earth indiscriminately, violating the terms and conditions of lease agreements, sources said. Such lifting of soil and sand continue throughout the dry season every year and such indiscriminate act is harmful for environment, said sources.

After taking lease, sand traders choose the spots on their own to minimize cost and do not care to abide by terms and conditions, said Azizul Islam, a sand trader at Kachari Ferry Ghat.

Lease holders are using the dyke the day and night to carry sand and earth to different upzlias of the district which is threatening the environment and creating massive erosion in the rainy season, said Abul Hasnat Shyamol, another sand trader.

After the visit at Kachari Ferry Ghat this correspondent found that sand was being lifted indiscriminately from the riverbed between Mymensingh Collectorate Building and the Circuit house, very close to the town protection embankment. The earth cutting continues from morning till evening everyday.

Three dredgers are being used at the said place though Water Development Board had no permission in this regard, sources said.

After lifting sand from the riverbed, a group of people carry it to different areas of the district by trucks, power tillers or tractors over the dyke. The town protection embankment has developed rift at different points due to massive sand lifting.

The town protection embankment is under threat due to such indiscriminate activities of the sand lifters, said engineer Nurul Amin Kalam, secretary of Mymensingh Nagorik Andolon.

The authorities concerned are yet to take any steps to stop such act, added the leader.

On contact, Chief Engineer of local Water and Development Board [WDB] Khoshi Mohan Sarker said, if sand collection continues like present rate, installations located between the Railway Bridge and Bangladesh China Friendship Bridge would-be affected. This could change the course of mighty Brahmaputra River in near future, the engineer apprehended. He also said that planned sand lifting as per terms and condition and suggestions of WDB could be beneficial for the river and its environment. We will investigate into the incident, added the official.