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Sustainable organic waste management and nutrients replenishment in the soil by vermicompost: A review

Authors:

K. M. C. Fernando ,

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About K. M. C.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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K. K. I. U. Arunakumara

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About K. K. I. U.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

With the rapid growth of global population, food production and waste management are considered to be two major challenges faced by people in 21st century. Though application of chemical fertilizers enhances crop growth, vigor and yield thereby meeting the food security, it depletes the quality of environment and ecosystems. Recycling of organic wastes is considered to be a feasible solution which could mitigate the issues of waste management while uplifting the status of soil health and nutrients. The objective of this article is to reviews the currently available literature on vermicomposting as a tool for recycling of different organic waste materials and subsequent use as organic amendment to improve soil properties and as organic fertilizer to enhance growth and yield of various crops. Furthermore, models were proposed to improve education on vermicomposting as a solution for organic waste management among farmers, students, government offices and general public and develop as a community based micro-enterprise. Vermicomposting is defined as a process where earthworms convert organic wastes into humus like materials. It has been investigated worldwide taking its practical significance into account. Vermicompost is found to be a good source of plant macro nutrients, micro nutrients and growth regulators, including humic acid, indole acetic acid and kinetin. Microbes live in the alimentary canal of the earthworms improve the quality of vermicast hence vermicompost. Furthermore, vermicompost could absorb heavy metals in soil and water while eliminating of human pathogens such as Salmonella spp, fecal coliforms, Shigella spp, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter cloacae and eggs of helminthes. Reviewed literature indicated the potential of vermicomposting to be used as an efficient technique for bioconversion of organic wastes into a valuable organic fertilizer. Furthermore, the present review suggests vermicompost production as a micro-enterprise which could be used to uplift the livelihood of the resource poor farmers through economic empowerment while assuring sustainable crop production.
How to Cite: Fernando, K.M.C. and Arunakumara, K.K.I.U., 2021. Sustainable organic waste management and nutrients replenishment in the soil by vermicompost: A review. AGRIEAST: Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 15(2), pp.32–51. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/agrieast.v15i2.105
Published on 28 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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