Vermiculture bio-technology: An effective tool for economic and environmental sustainability
Vermicompost production and use is an ‘environment friendly, protective and restorative’ process as it diverts waste from ending up in landfills and also reduces emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) due to very small amount of energy used in its production process. Application of vermicompost in farm soil acts as soil conditioner and help to improve its physical, biological and chemical properties. Vermicompost production is also an ‘economically productive’ process as it ‘reduces wastes’ at source and consequently saves landfills space. Construction of engineered landfills incurs 20 to 25 million US dollars upfront before the first load of waste is dumped. Over the past five years, the cost of landfill disposal of waste increased from $29 to $65 per ton of waste in Australia. However, landfills have to be monitored for at least 30 years for emissions of GHG and toxic gases and leachate (Waste Juice) which also incur cost. During 2002 to 2003, waste management services within Australia costed $2458.2 million. Even in developing nations where there are no true landfills, dumping of wastes cost alot on government. This paper elaborates on the importance of this technology to environmental sustainability and economic empowerment.
Key words: Vermicompost, earthworm, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg).