Vermicomposting: Recycling Wastes into Valuable Organic Fertilizer.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 8

Nagavallemma, K P and Wani, S P and Lacroix, S and Padmaja, V V and Vineela, C and Rao, M B and Sahrawat, K L (2004) Vermicomposting: Recycling Wastes into Valuable Organic Fertilizer.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 8. Monograph. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics , Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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This report is based on the research conducted at ICRISAT, Patancheru and Kothapally village (Adarsha watershed), Ranga Reddy district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The contribution from farmers who are important partners in Adarsha watershed is greatly acknowledged. This work is a part of the project RETA-6067 “Farmer Participatory Watershed Management for Reducing Poverty and Land Degradation in SAT Asia”, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the project “Combating Land Degradation and Increasing Productivity in Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Rajasthan” supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the watershed project of the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Programme (APRLP) supported by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Department for International Development (DFID), India. The support of these organizations is greatly acknowledged. Dr Radha D Kale, GKVK, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, India provided the earthworm culture to initiate these studies and her help is gratefully acknowledged. We also acknowledge Dr Vasantha Rao, Consultant for his contribution in identifying different fungal species. We are indebted to Ms Sheila Vijayakumar for editing the manuscript and Mr KNV Satyanarayana for incorporating the editorial corrections and page-setting the manuscript.


The large quantity of organic waste, nearly 700 million t yr-1, generated in India is either burned or land filled posing a problem of safe disposal. To mitigate this problem all the waste can be converted into highly valuable nutrient-rich compost in an environment friendly manner. Vermicomposting is one of the best methods of composting any kind of organic matter, which could provide a ‘win-win’ solution to tackle the problem of safe disposal of waste and also provide most needed plant nutrients for sustainable productivity.Vermicompost improves growth, quality and yield of different field crops, flower and fruit crops. Vermicomposting contributes to recycling of nitrogen and augments soil physico-chemical as well as biological properties. Microbial biodiversity was checked and higher diversity was recorded in the partially decomposed organic material for the vermicompost than in the vermicompost. All kinds of organic material can be used for vermicomposting however, Gliricidia, tobacco leaves and chicken droppings are not suitable for earthworm multiplication but can be composted with earthworms. The optimum temperature for vermicomposting is about 20–30°C and moisture content ranges from 32 to 60% only. It is a very simple process and easy to practice as well as cost-effective pollution abatement technologyThe training programs for women self-help groups (SHGs) covered technical aspects of making vermicompost and its application to various crops. These programs have been conducted by ICRISAT with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and District Water Management Agency (DWMA) in Adarsha watershed (Kothapally) in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and eastern Rajasthan. A noxious weed, Parthenium hysterophorus (locally referred as vayyari bhama or congress weed) was found abundantly on field bunds in Kothapally and other regions of Andhra Pradesh, which inhibited the crop growth and caused environmental pollution. Some case studies of women who have come forward to utilize this weed as raw material for vermicomposting, a safe weed disposal mechanism, have been presented in this report

Item Type: Monograph (Monograph)
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Others > Fertilizer Applications
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2011 10:59
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2011 10:59
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