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
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
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.