Vermiculture gains popularity in Sylhet

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Farmer Abdul Kuddus prepares vermicompost at his house in Sylhet’s Beanibazar upazila Dhaka Tribune

Farmers are using the fertilizer on their land as it gives higher yield of crops and also increases fertility of the soil

Vermicomposting is the natural process of converting organic waste into fertilizer using earthworms. Many farmers and educated locals in Beanibazar upazila of Sylhet are earning money selling the natural fertilizer.

Farmers are using the fertilizer on their land as it gives higher yield of crops and also increases fertility of the soil. 

To make the fertilizer, farmers collect plants, tree leaves, and cow dung, in a big earthen hole. This rots in 20 to 25 days. It is used as feed for earthworms, and finally vermicompost fertilizer is made from the excrement of earthworms. 

Abdul Kuddus, a farmer of Purushpal village in Beanibazar upazila said: “I have been producing vermicompost fertilizer in four rings for my crops for the last two years. Now I have bought 20 rings to produce the fertilizer commercially, inspired by our agriculture officers.”

“Making vermicompost is profitable, and many educated men and women have already started producing it,” he added.

Ritanjali, who works at a government-run project, said: “I am making vermicompost because of its high demand among farmers. I bought earthworms from a farmer in Gopalganj for Tk5,000. I can now sell fertilizer worth TK30,000 from my 20 rings each month.

 “I initially started making vermicompost fertilizer with six rings. As demand for the fertilizer has increased, I added six more rings. I have recently sold 210 kgs of fertilizer and earthworms worth around Tk7000,” said another farmer, Parul Begum.

The district’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has a production target of 20 tons of vermicompost fertilizer in Beanibazaar upazila from next month.

Farmers can earn Tk 20,000/30,000 each month by selling the fertilizer which is locally known as Panchankhanda. On top of that, they can use vermicompost fertilizer to grow cabbage, cauliflower, and tomatoes on their own land, according to DAE officials.

Beanibazar upazila Agriculture Officer Md Anisuzzaman said: “We are inspiring farmers to make vermicompost fertilizer as it increases crop yield. Trained farmers are making the fertilizer commercially, keeping the quality perfect.”

“Farmers can earn Tk2500-3000 each month by making the fertilizer. We are targeting producing at least 50 tons of vermicompost every month in the upazila,” he added.

Regarding the matter, Dr Abul Kashem, professor of the Department of Soil Science at Sylhet Agriculture University, said: “We have conducted research that vermin compost has contributed to increased crop yields in Sylhet. The fertilizer is especially useful for cultivation of cabbage, cauliflower, and tomatoes.”

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