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SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY FOR HIGH FARM PRODUCTION

By Nicholas Lokuya Emmanuel

Vermiculture is a technology used in converting organic waste into organic manure known as vermicast and vermi-liquid (Black tea) with the help of earthworms or “serigan” in Juba Arabic. Vermicast is used as an organic fertilizer, because it has a high content of plant nutrients (N, P, Zn, Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Mg, Fe and K).

Furthermore it has a high water holding capacity, good aeration and drainage that makes it ideal for plant growth. Earthworms also produced certain beneficial metabolites, vitamins (B and D group vitamins) and similar substances into the soil which enhances plant growth and development.

A layout of a vermiculture.

Worldwide organic wastes account for between 50 to 70  per cent of  the total solid wastes produced, which poses environmental threats.

These threats can only be managed through vermiculture to produce valuable plant nutrients and organic pesticides.

Vermiculture is an effective method of converting “garbage to gold”. The most preferred species of earthworms used in vermiculture is the African Nightcrawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) basically

due to their high rate of metabolism (it eats, its weight a day, at a ratio of 1:1 per day), decomposition of organic matter and ability to quickly reproduce.

Earthworms decomposing organic matter

The earthworms can feed on all types of biodegradable waste (cow dung, goat droppings, pig dung, kitchen waste, and crop residues) which would have caused environmental hazards when left in the environment because such materials produce a lot of methane gas.

Methane gas is one of the dangerous green-house gases that damage the ozone layer.

The vermiculture sector is untapped for feed, manure and black tea production, which are essential for poultry, pigs and fish as feed and for plants as fertilizers and organic pesticide. Earthworms consist of about 70 per cent proteins, which make them good for animal feeds and also a replacement for silver fish for human consumption.

Commercial vermiculture production is still very low in South Sudan. In many developed countries including; Japan, India, Philippines, China, Canada, and USA, vermiculture has been widely applied in organic waste management; industrial and municipal waste management, and treatment, clean up contaminated lands, fertility improvements and enhancements of farm production. Therefore South Sudan can also adopt this technology to manage her waste.

Researcher Nicholas Lokuya at the experimental site in Uganda Martyrs University, Kampala.

Today, vermiculture is a lucrative business that farmers, youths and women can venture into to earn income through selling of vermicast, black tea and earthworms to other farmers as seed and also as feeds.

Contemporary issues such as soil infertility, inadequate animal feeds and environmental pollution can only be solved through vermiculture.

The exhibition held at Lugogo, Kampala in February this year.

I have been participating in exhibitions, most recently the 26th Ministry of Higher Education Exhibition in Lugogo Kampala, where institution became the 2nd runners up. I also run a vermiculture project at the Uganda Martyrs University where we train farmers, students, youth and women in vermiculture production and management. We sell earthworms also train farmers who want to start vermiculture business.

The writer can be reached through: 0924648973, Email: lokuyanicholas19@gmail.com

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