UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Vermicompost: An Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective Alternative for Sustainable Agriculture Katiyar, Rajesh Babu; Sundaramurthy, Suresh; Sharma, Anil Kumar; Arisutha, Suresh; Pratap-Singh, Anubhav; Mishra, Satyam; Ayub, Rashid; Jeon, Byong-Hun; Khan, Moonis Ali


Vermicomposting emerges as an eco-friendly solution to manage a blend of agricultural residues and digested biogas slurry (DBS). This research probes the influence of two specific earthworm species, Eisenia fetida and Eugilius euganiae, on the composting dynamics of agro-residues and DBS. Moreover, it gauges their consequential impact on the growth of chili and brinjal plants. The research was conducted at the Sharda Vihar Campus in Bhopal. Several process variables, such as pH, salinity, moisture levels, temperature, carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), presence of pathogens, and monoculture trends, were assessed for their influence on vermicompost yield and its effect on chili and brinjal growth. Intriguingly, reactors employing E. fetida exhibited a vermicast recovery rate of 89.7%, whereas those utilizing E. eugeniae achieved 68.2% recovery, especially with an earthworm density of 125 individuals per liter. Notably, the derived NPK values from various composted and vermicomposted materials ranged from 1.5 to 1.7% for N, 0.98 to 1.19% for P, and 1.1 to 1.49% for K. This suggests its viability as both a fertilizer and soil enhancer. The E. fetida vermicompost-enriched soil notably boosted the yield of chili and brinjal. Overall, these insights highlight vermicomposting’s dual utility in waste management and augmenting bioresources.

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