Increasing urbanisation, changing lifestyles, industrial and agricultural activities generate large quantities of organic wastes The pollution is destroying our natural air, soil and water Earthworms are called friends of farmer because they improve many soil attributes Earthworms ingest organic matter and excrete ‘vermicompost’ The fertilizer industry
has grown from 7 million metric ton (1952) to 27 million metric ton (2012) in India lack of good genus earthworms lack for good vermi beds lack of technology in value addition difficulty in getting loan, insurance packing and marketing problems are the major problems faced by vermicomposting farmers ICTI-NABARD joint project shows how farmers by collectivising into Farmer Producer Organisation of their own share holding can increase profits Present fertilizer market has a number of intermediaries By setting up Farmer Producer Organisations, farmers themselves
organise, add value to their products and can market their products up
to retail level and make more profit By collectivising into
Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) farmers are able to reduce overhead costs thus are able to
ensure better pricing for the producer and cheaper pricing for the consumer The experience of our country is that “what is impossible for a single farmer, can be achieved by 1000 famers together Value chain in Vermicomposting Earthworms, vermi bed compost collection vermi wash preparation marketing The vermibed should always be kept above the ground The bed should be kept in
shade and protected from water-logging There could be
of thatched roof to prevent sunlight and rain 5 Kilograms organic
wastes can be fed daily in 1 m.sq area. This bed has a dimension of 5x3x2 feet The FPO can
provide ready-made vermibed to farmers African worms are commonly used in Kerala FPO can help farmers by providing good genus earthworms from reliable places Before releasing the worms to bed spread a 5-10 cm thick layer of decomposable organic matter
such as dried cow dung. After that spread partially decomposed cattle dung on top of the bedding layer till a height of 5-7 cm Introduce worms in the bed and sprinkle water. Cover the bed with a long Gunny cloth The worms are capable of reproducing and multiplying quickly within three weeks The organic wastes
which contain oil should be mixed either with dried manure or with compost before introducing to bed The wastes which
include salt and pesticides should be avoided Cow or goat manure, poultry waste kitchen waste, leaves and
grass clippings, etc can be used for vermi composting Vermi compost can be
easily prepared in home Compost should be
collected after 35-40 days Around 5 metric ton compost could be made from a tank of dimension 5x4x1.5 feet These compost can be packed in a small polythene cover or bags for marketing Vermiwash is a liquid that is collected after the passage of water through a column of worm action Vermiwash is diluted in
water and sprayed on the foliage of plants Well suited for
vanilla, orchid, spinach and other vegetables It contains many nutrients
for growth of plants Let us look at the structure and management of a FPO FPO is registered under the Company Act It could have ten to thousands of members As membership and share capital increases FPOs can get matching equity grant from various government organisations for expansion FPO should have 5 to 15 Directors and a Chief Executive Farmers and organisations
promoting FPO are the shareholders Share value could be Rs 100 and each Farmer
should have minimum 10 shares Shares can be transferred from Farmer to Farmer and to new farmers Dividend is given after annual account Every member
gets additional patronage bonus based the value of services/products transacted Services offered by FPO in first stage: 1. Provide farmers with good genus earthworms from reliable places 2. Assist farmers with loans, subsidy and technology for buying
earthworms and ready-made vermi bed respectively 3. Provide training to farmers 4. Assist farmers with “Organic certification” 5. Help farmers in branding,
transportation and marketing of packed compost 6. Helpline for Farmers to contact FPO Office for information and advise Training and Management support needed for starting such ventures will also be provided to FPOs For this, loans are available from Banks NABARD, Ministry of Food Processing Industries SIDBI, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises,
Ministry of Agriculture, etc. offer loans, matching grant, subsidy, equity, etc
for projects ranging from Rs 30 lakhs to Rs 15 crores To get support of NABARD it is not necessary to register under Company Act Societies are also eligible For Technical support to form and register FPO, Necessary Training, Guidance, Information about various Schemes of Government, NABARD, Banks, etc and to prepare Project Report, Information about equipment suppliers, vendors Please Contact :