Baramulla: The unscientific dumping or disposal of biodegradable waste is a huge challenge, especially with the increase in population size.
However, a Baramulla resident, after studying the use of bio-waste as a high-grade organic fertiliser has started converting biodegradable material into organic fertiliser, commercial use of which is of immense importance both locally as well as outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Umar Khan, a young and talented youth from Shrakwara Wagoora, while sharing his experience said that the idea of converting biodegradable waste into compost struck him while he was pursuing his graduation at Government Degree College Baramulla in 2018 when the State administration introduced skill-enhancement courses.
“During the subject study, the vermicomposting technology attracted me immensely as it provides a solution to the environmental pollution,” Khan said.
The process of vermicomposting is simple involving earthworms. After collecting biodegradable waste, it IS mixed and put for decomposition for 10-15 days in a small pit. Later, earthworms are used to make a humus-like material, known as vermicompost.
The process is carried out in a closed atmosphere in a pit. The vermicompost enhances soil fertility while vermicompost-treated soil has bulk water density and water retention. The compost is used as organic fertiliser in the agriculture sector owing to its nutrient value.
Khan has been engaged in vermicompost production for the last three years.
“I produce around 150 quintals of vermicompost although the demand is over 300-400 quintals,” he said. “I am planning to produce vermicompost at a large scale and it can fetch me over Rs 10 lakh annually.”
Khan said that the J&K administration needs to provide a solution to the unscientific dumping of biomedical waste by using vermicomposting technology.
He said that on a single day, tonnes of garbage is dumped in an improper fashion which has a severe impact on the environment.
Khan sees vermicomposting as a solution to such a horrific problem.
He has started motivating several youths to start producing compost.
“The process requires little space and to use it at a large scale, 4 to 5 kanal land can turn scores of unemployed youths into agri-entrepreneurs,” Khan said.
He said that the Department of Agriculture was assisting in such an endeavour.
“It can improve the agrarian economy both in urban and rural areas,” he said. “At a time when the world is switching over to organic farming by using vermicomposting technology we should also leap in this direction and save our future generation from hazardous chemicals used in the agriculture sector.”