Dhaka, Bangladesh
Vermicomposting makes many rural people happy

Vermicomposting makes many rural people happy

MOHANPUR, July 16: Jahangir Alam, 35, of Shinghamara village under Mohanpur upazila in the district has become almost self-reliant through manufacturing vermin compost, reports BSS. With close collaboration with his wife Sahar Banu he founded a household factory for manufacturing organic fertilizer in his house. Area of the factory has been expanded to a greater extent as the demand of organic fertilizer is increasing gradually. Vermicompost fertiliser, one kind of organic fertiliser made from earthworm, has started becoming popular in the region. Jahangir Alam couple is now ideal figures in their village as they now spread the light of knowledge of becoming self-reliant in a remote village by teaching the production methods of vermicompost fertilizer to put an end to their hardship. He said only earthworm and cow-dung are used in producing vermicompost fertilizer which helps to protect environment, fertility of the land, increase resistance power of crops against diseases and escalate crops production. They have a plan to give training free of cost to 10 women in each of the villages under their upazila and help them to set up firms for producing vermicompost fertilizer. The couple urged the government to give them financial support to expand their firms as they have planned to produce 400 maunds vermicompost fertilizer per day. The knowledge of vermin composting started brighter life for Shah Alam and his wife Momtaz of Mohishkundi village under the same upazila ending their dark times of miseries, hunger and uncertainty. "Our bad days are over after starting the production and selling of vermicompost fertilizer in our neighborhood and becoming financially solvent. We are now happy," Alam said while talking to BSS here Thursday. Alam couple started their venture investing Taka 55,000 only. Later, Alam took Taka five lakh loan from Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) for expansion of his business. He is now confident that he could draw more loans from the bank as per his requirement. "We gave Alam loan of Taka 5 lakh within three days he approached. If necessary, we will give him more loans for expansion of his business," said Rafiqul Islam, Deputy General Manager of RAKUB. Alam and his wife have started their business with earthworms of Taka 15,000 only. The production of earthworms increased by manifold and now stands at Taka 4 to 5 lakh. Four employees are now working full time in their firms while there are also some temporary staffs. Each of the permanent employees gets Taka 6,000 per month as salary. The couple in their first attempt has produced 72 maunds of vermicompost fertilizer and earned a profit of Taka 300 from selling each maund of the fertilizer. Alam hopes to produce 4-maunds of vermicompost fertilizer in a day after one month and the production of earthworm, one of the two components of producing vermicompost fertilizer, will be increased by manifolds within few weeks. Many farmers of the village including Ashraf Ali, Jabed Ali and Nazrul Islam were seen saying quality of locally manufactured vermicompost is better than many other organic fertilizers being sold in markets. Upazila Agriculture Officer Rahima Khatun says vermicompost has brought a remarkable change in agriculture sector. Around 10 vermicomposting farms were established in Durgapur Upazila area. Each of those has 250 pots with 15 kilograms of cowdung and 200 grams earthworm. Upazila Agriculture Office imparted training to the members of Integrated Crop Management and Integrated Pest Management for making them encouraged and interested towards vermicomposting. Muhammad Ali, a farmer of Gulalpara village under the same upazila, said vermicompost is very much important for betel leaf farming besides making it disease-free. "I have been using the organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer for the last five to six years," said Ali adding that many of his fellow-farmers are being interested to use the organic manure like him. Deb Dulal Dhali, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said vermicompost fertiliser is being used to regain the fertility of land which was drastically lost due to excessive use of chemical fertiliser. Many farmers have started manufacturing this organic fertilizer after taking training from DAE. "We have adopted special programmes of creating awareness among the farmers about vermicompost so that the lands get back productive capacity lost for excessive use of chemical fertilizer," he added.

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