Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Worm Fertilizer

News from NST:

Worm fertiliser project to boost agriculture yields in ECER

Worm farming for fertilizer projects to boost agriculture yields is being pioneered in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), starting with the Pahang Farmers Organisation Authority.

Some 1,000 farmers from the Kuantan Farmers Association will be involved with the initial project, ECER said in a statement today.

In addition to increasing yield and enhancing soil quality, ECER said the use of worm fertilizers reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and help growers tap into the growing demand for organic food.

Worms are also a green solution to food waste as they are efficient digesting machines that eat over half their body weight in organic matter daily, leaving behind nutrient rich worm castings (poop) which are completely natural at low cost.

According to ECER, apart from quality yield, worm fertilizer produced by earthworms will increase soil aggregate stability, aeration and reduce erosion.

Its broad base of nutrients adds beneficial organisms, nutrients and minerals sustain healthy plant life and stimulate growth, it added.

Aiza Agro Sdn Bhd, a company breeding and selling worm fertilizers in Pahang, said it has seen more fruit and vegetable farmers making a switch due to worm fertilizers’ potency and lower procurement costs.

“Worm fertilizers cost less than chemical fertilizers as the growers only need a third of the normal amount of chemical fertilizers. Farmers also need to apply fertilizers less frequently,” Aiza Agro managing director Zamsulidayat Ismail said.

He said worm fertilizers cost less at an average of RM3,500 per tonne compared to chemical fertilizers at RM4,000 per tonne, adding that less water is required and plants become more disease-resistant.

Zamsulidayat said the company is planning to open worm farms in Terengganu before year-end.

It has started three worm farms in Kuantan as demand for worm fertilizers is growing and more farmers in East Coast venture into organic farming.


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