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Turning waste into wealth: Horticulture deptt constructs 3661 vermi compost units

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Friday, January 6, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 05: The Horticulture Department Kashmir has given 3661 vermicompost units among farmers over the past six years to recycle organic material into rich and usable soil.
Under organic farming, the department has given these vermicompost units to farmers on 50 percent subsidy under two union government schemes: Prime Ministers Development Package (PMDP) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
Abdul Quds Beigh, Horticulture Development Officer said under the two schemes the department has distributed a total of 3661 vermicompost units which includes 2553 under the PMDP and 1108 under the MIDH from 2014-16 to till 2020-21.
The HDO said the total cost of the construction of these vermicompost units is about Rs 1 lakh out of which Rs 50,000 is given as subsidy by the Central government.
Beigh said the horticulture sector plays an essential role in Jammu and Kashmir and they are encouraging farmers to use vermicompost in farming.
“Now people have become health conscious and they want organic foods and vegetables. It can’t replace the fertilizers but it can limit fertilizer use to a large extent,” he said.
He said quality vermicompost is consistent, moist, dark black medium and has a pleasant earthy smell. It contains water-soluble nutrients and is nutrient-rich organic fertilizer.
“If people can use fertilizers more than the limit that can cause damage to the crop and the soil but by vermicompost soil stricture becomes strong and it retains moisture in the soil. It is easy to use and it does not need more spending like fertilizers,” he said.
Vermicompost has a profound effect on plants and boosts nutrients available to plants, helping seeds to germinate more quickly, grow faster, develop better root systems and produce higher yields.
Experts said that vermicompost also helps suppress plant diseases and insect pests. It can be used on gardens, lawns, house plants and around bushes and trees.
Tahir Ahmad Tahir, a senior agriculture expert said all daily life waste including fruit and vegetable waste all can be turned it to vermicompost
While explaining steps involved in compost process, he said while using the dustbins a user should spread 1 cm layer of microbes at the bottom of the waste-decomposing dustbins.
“The leftover food in the plastic bags should not be thrown directly into the waste-decomposing dustbins. Only the leftover food has to be added and the plastic bag has to be removed compulsorily,” he said.
Dr Tariq Rasool, Associate Professor Plant Pathology at SKUAST-K, said farmers can use the orchard leaves for making compost in pits.
“Normally one manure quintal costs Rs 1200 a quintal and people can make the compost in the same orchards and it should be encouraged. Farmers should dig pits in orchards and put leaves in them to make vermicompost that could be used as fertilizer,” he said.

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