Vermitechnology is the study and commercial use of technologies that use earthworms to decompose organic waste for sanitation and agricultural purposes. Earthworms can decompose and stabilize solid organic waste as well as organic waste that is suspended or dissolved in water. Solid waste management has become one of the biggest problems we face today. Vermicomposting is the better option to tackle this problem. Vermicompost is a fantastic, nutrient-rich organic fertiliser and soil conditioner since it includes water-soluble compounds. It is employed in organic farming and sustainable gardening. It is environment friendly and cost-effective technique for solid waste management.
Vermicomposting helps in the breakdown of solid waste and the cast produced during this process is utilised as a natural fertiliser, serving two major purposes for human welfare. Vermitechnology has become more significant in recent years for a number of reasons. Because of the constantly growing population, there is a sharp rise in the production of different kinds of solid waste, which pollutes the environment. The condition of our soil and environment has also been further harmed by the use of chemical fertilisers in modern agricultural methods. Meanwhile, Vermitechnology views its ability to transform our garbage into financially lucrative bio-fertilizers as a boost to waste management efforts. Additionally, it helps increase soil fertility.
§ To provide students with experiential learning and learn by doing
§ To train the students in vermiculture and composting methods, its application in agricultural practices, and their role in waste management.
§ To promote the production of vermicompost
§ To develop the management and marketing skills of students
§ To develop a research culture among the students
§ To maintain an eco-friendly college campus
Benefits of Vermicompost:
· Improves soil aeration
· Enriches soil with micro-organisms (adding enzymes such as phosphatase and cellulase)
· Microbial activity in worm castings is 10 to 20 times higher than in the soil and organic matter that the worm ingests
· Attracts deep-burrowing earthworms already present in the soil
· Improves water holding capacity
· Enhances germination, plant growth, and crop yield
· It helps in root and plant growth
· Enriches soil organisms (adding plant hormones such as auxins and gibberellic acid)
· Biowaste conversion reduces waste flow to landfills.
· Elimination of bio-wastes from the waste stream reduces contamination of other recyclables collected in a single bin (a common problem in communities practicing single-stream recycling)
· Creates low-skill jobs at the local level
· Low capital investment and relatively simple technologies make Vermicomposting practical for less-developed agricultural regions
· Helps to close the "metabolic gap" through recycling waste on-site
· Large systems often use temperature control and mechanized harvesting, however other equipment is relatively simple and does not wear out quickly
· Production reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitric oxide (produced in landfills or incinerators when not composted).
Decomposable organic wastes such as kitchen waste, garden residues, and tree litter are commonly used as composting materials. 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 their 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.
Process of vermicomposting
· Vermicomposting unit should be in a cool, moist and shady site
· Kitchen waste and chopped dried leafy materials are mixed in the proportion of 3: 1
· and are kept for partial decomposition for 15 – 20 days.
· A layer of 15-20cm of chopped dried leaves/grasses should be kept as bedding
· The material at the bottom of the bed.
· The bed should contain 1.5-2.0q of raw material
· Red earthworm (1500-2000) should be released on the upper layer of bed.
· Water should be sprinkled with the can immediately after the release of worms
· Beds should be kept moist by sprinkling of water (daily) and by covering with
· gunny bags/polythene
· Beds should be turned once after 30 days for maintain aeration and for proper
· Compost gets ready in 45-50 days
· The finished product is 3/4th of the raw materials used.
The college has established vermicomposting unit of the size 10’X4’X3 on the college campus. Esinia foetida species of earthworm was introduced. There were two vermicomposting beds in the unit. The unit was maintained properly by watering and other necessary management practices. Harvested manures are used to maintain the college gardens and vegetation of the campus.