Vermicompost organic fertilizer production has now become a major component of agri-business models across the country with a very low initial investment. Vermicompost is the product or process of composting utilizing various species of worms to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.
An aspiring entrepreneur having specific skills in the manufacturing process can initiate vermicompost organic fertilizer production business. The unit can be established with moderate capital investment in small scale at homestead level also.
Rural areas with a predominance of agriculture, suburbs of cities and peri-urban villages are considered ideal locations for setting up of vermicompost units on a larger scale from the viewpoint of availability of raw material (cow dung) and marketing of the produce. Based on the high-end trend of vermicompost technology it is getting increasingly popular among local entrepreneurs for the reason that it is considered profitable maximizes the yield.
The vermicompost contains higher percentage (nearly twofold) of both macro and micronutrients than the garden compost. The product gets matured in a period of 45-60 days depending upon the type of wastes, earthworm population, and environmental factors. There is 5 to 6 possible cycle in a year.
Materials Required For Vermicompost Organic Fertilizer Production
Several decomposable organic wastes normally used as composting materials. It includes animal excreta, kitchen waste, farm residues and forest litter etc. In general, animal dung mostly cow dung and dried chopped crop residues are the key raw materials. A mixture of leguminous and non-leguminous crop residues enriches the quality of vermicompost.
There are different species of earthworms viz. Eisenia Foetida (Red earthworm), Eudrilus Eugeniae (night crawler), Perionyx Excavatus etc. Red earthworm is preferred because of its high multiplication rate and thereby converts the organic matter into vermicompost within 45-50 days. Since it is a surface feeder it converts organic materials into vermicompost from the top.
Manufacturing Process of Vermicompost Organic Fertilizer production
- Initially, you need to gather bio-degradable agro waste.
- Cut them into small pieces by hand-operated cutting machine.
- Allow them for partial decomposition for 10 to 15 days. It will help you in achieving a better activity of earthworm.
- A Vermicomposting unit should be in a cool, moist and shady site.
- Beds of a partially decomposed material of size 6x2x2 feet should be made.
- Partially decomposed agro waste material is then arranged in layers at the vermicompost bed.
- Prepare 6” layer of partially biodegradable agro waste at the bottom of the bed.
- Apply 1” layer of cow dung slurry on it to further decomposing of the agro waste for 15 to 20 days.
- After partial decomposition, cover with cow dung slurry with 4” layer of Farm Yard Manure.
- Apply red earth worm (1500-2000) on the upper layer of bed.
- Water should be sprinkled with can immediately after the release of worms.
- Beds should be kept moist by a sprinkling of water (daily) and by covering with gunny bags/polythene.
- The bed should be turned once after 30 days for maintaining aeration and for proper decomposition.
- Compost will get ready in 45-50 days.
Harvesting Process of Vermicompost Organic Fertilizer Production
When you get completely decomposed vermicompost you should stop watering. It appears black in color and granular in size. Keep over a heap of partially decomposed cow dung so that earthworms could migrate to cow dung from compost. After two days compost can be separated and sieved for bagging and use.
Preventive Measures in Vermicompost Organic Fertilizer Production
- The floor of the unit should be compact to prevent earthworms’ migration into the soil.
- 15-20 days old cow dung should be used to avoid excess heat.
- The organic wastes should be free from plastics, chemicals, pesticides, and metals etc.
- Aeration should be maintained for proper growth and multiplication of earthworms.
- Optimum moisture level (30-40 %) should be maintained
- 18-25o degree Centigrade temperature should be maintained for proper decomposition.
Market Opportunity of vermicompost Organic Fertilizer Production
Vermicompost organic fertilizer production business has good sale potential over a range of crops i.e. agricultural, horticultural, ornamental, vegetables etc.
Direct sale to end users this includes farmers groups and subdivisions in nearby cities and municipalities.
Bulk sale to producers and distributors of organic fertilizer that needs vermicompost as one of its primary components.
High-end market in urban areas due to the popularity of organically grown farm produce among the rich residing in posh villages and other high-end residential areas.