Shonkar Mrong from Netrokona
Rajendrapur is a village in Charlisa union of sadar upazila of Netrokona district. Most of the people of this village are farmers and agriculture is their main occupation. The farmers of this village have been living their families by cultivating diverse vegetables in highlands and rice in the comparatively lower land. At the beginning farmers of this village used to cultivate vegetables with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Due to decreasing fertility of the land day by day and excessive use of chemical fertilizers in the hope of higher yields, the attack of insect pests in the vegetable crops increases and production costs increase due to the use of chemical materials to control it. But farmers did not get the benefit they expect. Although farmers use dung manure as well as chemical fertilizers, due to the detergent preservation method error (dung in open area) the quality of the dung would not have been beneficial for the crops.
Farmers have contacted the upazila agricultural department, with the help of the concerned officials, formed an IPM agricultural organization in 2006 in Rajendrapur village with 40 farmers of the village. The officers of the Department of Agriculture have been encouraging the farmers to produce diverse crops by regular training and counseling in the IPM system, with the help of necessary training and advice on crop disease prevention and crop management.
In 2015, BARCIK informed two interested farmers of Rajendrapur village about the vermin compost production and cooperated with technical and material support. By looking at the benefits of the vermin compost at the field level, other farmers of the area also started collecting earthworm and started composts on their own initiative. Later, the Upazila Agriculture Department offered materials support to the two farmers in the production of vermin compost. Currently, 40 members of the organization are cultivating vegetables by vermin compost. Some farmers are earning money by selling additional composts.
Discussing with the members of the IPM Agriculture Organization, it is known that 40 farmers of the organization are cultivating diverse vegetables and turmeric by using organic fertilizers and vermin compost in about 10 acres of land. President of the organization Badsha Mia said, “Within the next 5/6 years, through the initiative of the organization Rajendrapur will become 100% compost villages and chemically-free vegetable will be produced. Members of the organization have offered a farmer (a village or a remote village) free earthworms for producing vermin compost for cultivating.” He also said, “The members sell the earthworm 1000 taka for each kilogram and the compost sells at 10 taka per KG to the different farmers and big farmers.” Almost all the farmers of the village sell 5 kilograms of earthworms per year. However, most of the farmer-produced earthworm composts used to cultivate vegetables in their own land.
Badsha Mia said, ‘I do not sell compost, I use all the vermin compost on the land to produced vegetables. At the request of the agriculture officer, I once sold 100 kg of vermin compost at 1000 taka. In three years, I sold around 25 kg of earthworms at Tk 1000 / kg and earned 25,000 taka. He also said, “The quality vegetables are very good and delicious to eat due to cultivating vegetables with vermin compost. Almost all the farmers of the village are cultivating vegetables using vermin compost more as well as reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our village vegetable market is demanding more organic crops, so farmers are benefiting from cultivating vegetables with compost. We hope 100 percent organic agriculture will be possible in the next 5-6 years. “
The production of vermin compost is very easy, leaving only dung, rotten straw and leaving the earthworm in concrete pot or house. Then covered it with shade and make the place dark. One just has to be careful so that rainwater could not enter or sunburn could not shine the place. One also has to be cautious from the attack of livestock such as poultry, birds or ants. Compost is made within 2-3 months. Vegetable yield is very good in the use of vermin compost and soil fertility increases and the farmers of Rajendrapur village are now interested in organic farming due to crop failure in the use of chemical fertilizers.
Through field observation, farmers have cultivated many varieties of vegetables such as radish, data spinach, garlic, red spinach, turmeric, gourd, cauliflower, cabbage and tomato seedlings, using vermin compost in villages. Thus, if the farmers of all villages practice organic agriculture, the safe food production will increase, the consumer will have the safe food and ensure the diverse food for everyone. This will increase molecules, microbes or diversity will be preserved in the agricultural environment and surroundings.
Translated by Bahauddin Bahar