Manufacturing of vermicompost (An Organic Fertilier)
Charies Darwin (1881) drew attention to the role of earthworms in the breakdown of Organic material in soil an forest litter and in maintenance of soil structure, aeration and fertility. Darwin's work gave am impetus to earthworms research particularly in Europe Paper, wool and food industries in Japan are now intending to utilze earthworms as decomposer organisms for industrial waste matter (Wattanabe and Tsulamato, 1976). Review on earthworms have been published by Avel (1959). Tembe and Dubash (1961), Edward and Lofty (1972) have reviewed extensively the biologically of earthworms. Earthworms is physically as aerator, crusher, mixer, chemically a degrade and biologically a stimulator for decomposition or composting process.
Need of Vermicomposting:
Enhancement of environmental quality is accepted national goal. Waste biomass from domestic, agriculture, urban and industrial sources are the main cause of organic pollution in developing countries like india. India has annual potential of about 200 million tons of solid and Liquid waste biomass production. Orgainc manures in agroecosystems help in soil conservation and increase water retention capacity of soil. Inorganic fertilizers are costly because of their price linkage to the escalating price of petroleum. Thus appropriate disposal of waste through vermicomposting has at least three advantages namely.
History of Vermicomposting :
- Environment protection-(Waste management)
- Production of Vermiprotein ΓΆ€“ it can be used as a feed for poultry, fish, pigs and other domastic animal.
- Vermicompost ΓΆ€“ For healty plant growth.
Eventhough earthworm activity in soil is known from the time of Darwin (1881) Vermicomposting has not been realised before mid 20th Century. At Hoilands, Landing, Ontario, Canada the first pioneering vermicomposting of waste was attempted in 1970. a pilot scale demostration of Vermiocomposting of Municipal solid waste was conducted in 1975 at Ontario.
American Earthworm company (AEC) demostrated Vermicomposting during 1978-1980 in Florida invloving 500 tons of Soilds waste. Two farms are actively engaged in commercialsing vermicomposting in Japan. They are AOKA SANGYO CO. LTD. and Toyahire Seiden Kogyo Co. They have designed vermicomposting of plants capable of producing 1000-3000 tons of manure per month from waste of food processing units, rice straw, municipal solid waste, etc. Japan has procured 3000 tons of earthworm from USA for Vermicomposting of waste pulps from paper and spinning mills during 1985. In some Europian contries like ltly small farms are engaged in designing Vermicomposting plants and many universities in Europe are engaged in vericomposting research. In USA several vermicomposting farms have now been established involving more than 10000 earthworms ranchers and engineer Roger. E. Gaddie is taking the lead. In asian countries, Philippine has made the pioneering effort form small scale vermicomposting with the leasership of engineer.
W.V. Tan. There is urgent need of development of appropriate mode (s) for Indian conditions. It is hoped that Government and other Organisations will come for financial support.
Vermicomposting products and their utility :
Earthworm Castings (Vermicompost)
Vermicompost is very important of biofertilizer for healthy plant growth. It contain 2-10 times more nutrients in bio-available form than the soil. It not only add nutrients to plants but also help in soil conservation and water conservation. It contains cocoons of earthworm hence earthworm multiplication proceeds in the farm it self. The waterholding capacity of Vermicompost is increased by 350% than the soil. The native species of earthworm will attract towards the vermicomposting layer resulting improvement in the soil porosity.
Earthworm : (Elsenia Foctida)
Earthworms could be used as a feed material for poultry, aquaculture and domestic animal. Earthworms used for fish bait is very well known in india. Earthworm produced from vermicomposting can be reinoculated or can be applied in agricultural field. Earth worm tissue contains 50-70 % protein, 7-10% of fat and good amout of calcium phosphorus and other minerals. It's tissues contain 4100cal/gm on dry weight basis. Earthworm can multiply 2-5 times or more per year when grown on orgainc waste. Earth worm tissue contains very high concentration of critical aino acids namly Arginine, Tryplophan and Tyrosine. It is more stable then any other protein feed aviable in market. Earthworm fed to chickes, fishes, cattles have shown encouring results for stimulating enhanced growth rate. Earthworms grown in sterilised filter paper are being utilised as human food in U.S.A. and U.K.
Millions of farmers in developing countries need adequate resources for augmenting the crop productivity. The vermicompost influence favourably, plant growth adn yield directly as well a directly.
The indirect effects include augementation of vermiculture and beneficial microbial population and their activities such as orgainc matter decomposition, biological-nitrogen fixation solubilisation of insoluble phosphate and availability of plant nutrients. Organic fertilizer (Vermicompost) improve the soil structure, seed germination, waterholding capacity, drainage, Cation exchange capacity and check soil erosion.
The direct effect relates to the resistance power of plant against various pest and insect attack and improment in keeping quality (Lustre, taste, sweetness, shelf life) of the agriculture product.