Technical feasibility and effectiveness of vermicomposting at household level
K.I.M. Perera* and A. Nanthakumaran
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Abstract: Understanding the value of vermicompost, an attempt was made to study the technical feasibility and effectiveness of vermicomposting at household level and to analyze and compare the performance of the crops grown using vermicompost. The study was carried out during April (2013) to January (2014) at Madampe in Puttlam, Sri Lanka. Initially three vermicomposting units were established separately using six plastic bins with 45 cm diameter and 40 cm height each. The locally available earthworm species, Eisenia fetida and Eisenia andrei were used to prepare vermicompost using shredded paper as the bedding material. Five treatments with five replicates of control (T1), inorganic fertilizer (T2), vermicompost (T3), garden compost (T4), and a combination of vermicompost + inorganic fertilizer (50:50) (T5) were tested with potted okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) using randomized block design. The growth parameters and the yield characteristics were recorded during the period of six to fifteen weeks of planting. The data were statistically analyzed using ANOVA and LSD test. Results revealed that the average marketable fruit yield per plant for T3 was the highest among five treatments. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between vermicompost and other treatments on the average marketable yield of okra. The average yield of T3 showed 63%, 50% and 37% increase compared to that of T1, T2 and T4 respectively. It also showed 18% increase of yield in T5 when compared to T2. Vermicomposting provide an environmental friendly way of increasing the crop yield. Use of local earthworms to the typical process of vermicomposting could be a successful and a sustainable win-win solution to protect the environment.