GUNTUR: Many of the villages in the newly-formed Palnadu district are repurposing their daily waste to create bio-fertiliser to be used in organic farming. Out of the 527 panchayats in the district, 405 have set up vermicompost units; 363 of them have even started operations.
As many as 1,501 workers deployed under the Clean Andhra Pradesh initiative, collect garbage from door-to-door and segregate them before shifting the biodegradable wet waste to the vermicompost sheds. The wet waste are decomposed with dung, coconut fibre and earthworms in large tubs set up in the sheds for 45-50 days.
The decomposed product contain 1.3-2 per cent nitrogen, 0.5-1.5 per cent of phosphorus, 0.4-0.8 per cent potash, calcium, magnesium and various other nutrients, according to official data.
Soon after the reorganisation of Palnadu, the district administration refocussed its attention to the development of such sheds to promote organic farming. Special officers were appointed to all 28 mandals in the district to monitor the project.
Rompicherla mandal special officer Deepthi told he New Indian Express: "Many awareness programmes are being taken up to sensitise people and farmers about vermicomposting. Vermicompost is done in 160 villages so far and its official price is set at Rs 15 per kg. Compost bags of 2 kg, 5 kg and 10 kg are given to farmers. As part of the pilot project, the district administration distributed the compost to every household in Lingamguntla village. After two months, several women grew vegetables and fruits in their gardens."
So far, 18,175 kg of vermicompost have been produced and sold, which generated a revenue of Rs 1.85 lakh. As more vermicompost units are expected to begin operations soon, large scale production of bio-fertiliser can be taken up and the project will be commercially viable, said joint-director (Agriculture) Murali.
"Components in vermicompost help the soil retain its minerals and increase its quality. Vegetables that are cultivated at such places are chemical-free and more nutritious. So we are encouraging nursery owners and farmers to adopt the technique," he added.
Meanwhile, the district administration has decided to sell vermicompost through RBKs. Collector Sivaramakrishna said required action will be taken to increase the production and in its marketing.