Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 13, ISSUE 80, SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2013 |

Organic farming: Vermicompost

Earthworms feed on decaying organic material and deposit castings—a natural fertiliser. The process by which these earthworms can be cultured or used in composting pits, crates, tanks, concrete rings or any containers is commonly known as vermicompost. About 2500 species of earthworms have been identified world over of which more than 500 species are found in India. Diversity of earthworm species varies with different types of soils and hence choosing a local or native species of earthworm for vermicomposting is an important step. Local species of earthworms that are used in India are Perionyx excavatus and Lampito mauritii. Vermicompost is considered superior to other types of compost due to its low investment need and high quality of product. India being a agriculture centric country could easily use millions of tonnes of vermicompost and considerably reduce its dependency on chemical fertilisers.

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