With an aim to easily decompose plant wastes and also facilitate growth of soil microorganisms as a farm input, a ‘Waste Decomposer’ has been invented and publicized by The National Organic Farming Center, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, serving under the Ministry of Central Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. And the Regional Organic Farming Center, Bengaluru, has been striving to disseminate this technique in Southern India.
We discussed with Ravindranath, Assistant Director, from the Regional Center about the Waste Decomposer. “In India, every year, 62 million ton organic wastes are generated. A person living in cities generates 200 – 600 grams of decomposable waste in a day. 300 – 400 households in a village generates 2 tons of agriculture waste (cow dung, fodder waste and farm waste) in a day . Likewise, decomposable wastes have been largely generated from cow sheds and sugar mills.
Waste Decomposer Formulation Preparation
Drum with 200 liter capacity, 200 liters of water + 2 kg jaggery + 1 bottle of waste decomposer
Take a drum of 200 liters of capacity. Fill it with 200 liters of water.
Add to it 2kg of jaggery and mix it thoroughly.
Mix a solid form of waste decomposer in the bottle in the drum.
Using a clean wooden stick stir the composition in the drum twice daily. Keep the drum under shadow.
In olden days, this kind of waste is decomposed and used them as manures. Currently, mostly chemical fertilizers have been in use and therefore this kind of waste is left unused. In some places these wastes are burnt using fire. This leads to negative effects in the environment. The waste decomposer is a gift towards decomposing wastes in a most innovative and scientific way thereby enhancing the soil fertility. Krishnan Chandra, Scientist initiated a research, trying to separate out the microorganisms that are involved in decomposition process from cow dung. Then from 2004 this has been field tested for 11 years and after ensuring its benefits at the field level, in 2015 it was introduced in the field successfully through farmers. Organizations from corporations and metro cities have also been using this to decompose urban wastes.
Dr Chandraprabha, Junior Scientific Officer from the Research Centre discussed about its use with us. “It not only functions as a liquid to facilitate decomposition. This can also be used in crops such as paddy, vegetables, tree and fruit crops. One bottle of it costs Rs 20. It looks like gum or paste. From a bottle of it, 200 liters of formulation can be prepared.
This formulation should be used within a month. But it can be revived from the same bottle of formulation. That means, using it any volume of formulation can be made continuously. In one’s lifetime, one can buy it for Rs 20 and that’s enough. It need not be bought every time. From it natural input can be made lifelong. Those who cannot buy the bottle can borrow it from the neighboring farmer and revive the formulation in a separate bottle. It can be supplied to the crops either through irrigation water or sprinkled through leaf spraying. It enriches the soil fertility by enhancing the growth of soil microorganisms.
Using this decomposer, dung, vegetable wastes, agriculture wastes, dry sticks and barks can be decomposed rapidly. The compost out of it can be used as soil manure. Those who have gardens in the urban areas can make use of the waste decomposer as a simpler garden input.
It helps the soil gaining nitrogen, phosphorous and potash as soil nutrients. He further shared the contact details of farmers in Tamil Nadu who has been using the waste decomposer.
Ajith from Kancheepuram district has been using the waste decomposer. His Green Forest Farm is situated at the 6th kilometer of the road that goes from Chengalpet to Thirukazhukundram. When we reached the farm he was there with his son Bharath. We introduced ourselves to them.
“I live in Chengalpet. I am running a jewelry shop there. Most of us in the Jain community would not opt for agriculture. But I have a passion in agriculture. That made me buy this three acre land two years ago. In 2 ¼ acre, moringa, banana, mango, papaya, lemon and coconuts are standing. Along with them, in 600 square feet area tree crops are also planted by Miyawaki method. With 50 cent land area, chilies, groundnut, beans, brush and bottle gourds, sugarcane, and corn are grown. All of them are grown together in the same place.
I greatly like to try innovative ways in agriculture. I happened to attend an agriculture exhibition in Pune, Maharashtra, last November. I learnt about waste decomposer at the exhibition and bought it with me. Earlier I used Panjakavya, Jeevamirtham, oil cake formulation and buttermilk formulation. But for the past three months I have been using decomposer formulation only. I don’t use any other input. It is very much proven to be potent and useful. The effort to make it is also very much lesser. Scientists recommend that we should only add jaggery to it. But through my experience it is better to use 4 liters of sugarcane juice or 2 kg of well ripe banana instead of 2 kg of jaggery.” He continued about the method of using it.
While pruning Moringa tree, gather the cut sticks and leaves and similarly with banana, papaya, mango and coconut trees, keep all the plant wastes in a particular place and sprinkle the waste decomposer liquid consisting of jaggery and water. All these agriculture wastes turned into coarse manure within three months. I sprayed it as such in the field. Similarly if it is sprayed on the day to day cow dung gathered in the farm it will turn into manure within month.
I was told to supply it to crops once in seven days. But I keep providing it to the crops every day. Similarly they recommended us to supply it along with irrigation water. But I sprinkle it as such using power sprayer without adding water to it. Those dry weeds in the farm naturally turn into manure. Those grass varieties are not affected by it. Likewise, there is no harm to the standing crops. There is no shedding of flowers in the mango trees to the spraying of decomposer and the fruits are sustained. There is no disease attack too due to the spraying. Besides, the soil of the farm also becomes coarser and dark. Through the benefits gained from this spraying I bought a drum with a capacity of 5000 liters. I have been arranging to use this drum to produce more of this formulation and supply to crops through drip irrigation.
Earlier, it will cost in thousands to prepare inputs at the farm. But at present, with a mere Rs 100 (Rs 20 on decomposer + 2 kg of jaggery for Rs 80) it is possible to get 200 liters of inputs”. Thus he concluded happily.
Dr Chandraprabha answered the common questions related to the decomposer by the farmers and is given below:
“Can we use the waste composer in the field where Panjakavya, Jeevamirtham and Amudhakaraiysal are being used?”
“You can very well use it. If Jeevamirtham or Panjakavya is sprayed on the crops, allow one day to spray this decomposer.”
“If the plants sprayed upon by the decomposer, are eaten by the animals, will it cause any problem?”
“It is not a poison that would cause toxic effects to animals or human beings. Therefore there won’t be any effect to animals eating those plants sprayed with the decomposer. It will decompose only the dead and organic dry leaves and sticks. It will not be a concern for live plants. The formulation prepared after allowing seven days of processing will be fragrant too. Those who are having allergic issues can wear face mask and gloves while spraying it. Otherwise, it is similar to any kind of natural farm input only”.
“How long the formulation can be stored and used?”
It will have seven days for the preparation of the formulation. It can be used one month after its preparation. Even if it is used after a month there is no negative effect due to it”.
“Can it be used in lands that use chemical inputs?”
It is composed of microorganisms and other related bacteria. There won’t be full benefit out of spraying the formulation on the crops and over it spray pesticides which will kill the beneficial organisms”.
Organic Certification can be gained!
VY Devgare, Assistant Director, Regional Organic Farming Center, ex plained about the services of the Center to us. “This Center was founded in 1998 as ‘Regional Biofertilizer Development Center’. It was changed to Regional Organic Farming Center in 2004.
This is an institution that has been serving towards organic farming in South India with the support of the Central Government. Its headquarters is in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. It also functions in Panchkula (Haryana), Bhuvaneshwar (Orissa), and Nagpur (Maharashtra). Dissemination of organic farming, taking forward the related technologies to the farmers and helping farmers to gain organic certifications are the services we carry out. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telengana, Andhra, Kerala and Puduchery are the states we cater to.
We have been conducting training programs on organic farming in many parts of Southern India. Besides, we also provide organic farming certification in the name of ‘PGS India’. Those who wish to have more details about it can approach our Center”.
Method of Preparation?
Formulation preparation: Take a plastic drum of 200 liter capacity. Fill it with 200 liters of water, add to it 2 kg of jaggery and mix it thoroughly. Then add to it the waste decomposer in the bottle and mix the content thoroughly twice daily using a clean stick. The formulation is ready in seven days.
Keep the formulation under a shady place all the time. Take 20 liters from it and add to it 180 liters of water and 2 kg of jaggery to further reproduce the decomposer repeatedly. It can be thus reproduced many times lifelong and use it for the farm.
Decomposing: Spread leaf wastes and dung wastes on the ground and sprinkle the decomposer on it, making them wet. Keep stacking the agriculture waste, layer over layer, spraying the decomposer on each layer. It will decompose within a month.
Each layer should be maintained with 60% of moisture. The compost from the layers can be used directly in the farm.
Measure of formulation to the crops: While providing it through leaves as nutrient, 10 liters per tank can be sprayed on vegetable crops, as 4 liters of decomposer in 6 liters of water and it can be continued once in three days.
For fruit crops, mix 4 liters of decomposer in 6 liters of water and it can be continued once in seven days. Mix equal volume of decomposer and water for all other crops, once every week.
While supplying it to the soil as an input, take 200 liter of it per acre of land through water irrigation. After harvest, in order to decompose the agriculture waste in the farm, it is adequate to supply 200 liters of formulation per acre.
Seed treatment: This formulation can be used for seed treatment as well. Before sowing the seeds, spray and mix the formulation with the seeds, keep them air dried for half an hour and then start sowing the seeds.
We spoke to Kodumudi Dr Natarajan who brought the details of ‘waste decomposer’ to the notice of ‘Pasumai Vikatan’.
“I usually discuss about Panjakavya and other organic farming technologies with other farmers, daily over phone. Likewise, one of the pioneer organic farmers from Dharmapuri, spoke to me one day. He told me that there is a waste decomposer costing Rs 20 only, sold by the Regional Organic Farming Center, Bengaluru. He further informed me that we need to buy it only once and it can be used continuously lifelong and farmers from North India, Karnataka, Andhra and neighboring states have been using it largely.
This natural input is basically made out of cow dung. I informed to the editor of Pasumai Vikatan so as to take this information to all corners of our country, helping the farmers”. Thus he concluded gladly.
Where and how to get it?
One bottle of waste decomposer costs Rs 20. Those who wish to buy it, based on the number of bottle, take a Demand Draft (DD) in the name of ‘PAO, DAC Chennai’.
Send the DD along with your name and address to the Centre in Benagaluru. The required bottles will be sent to you by post. Money can also be sent by Money Order. There is no fee for postal charges. One can also directly approach the office, address as given below, to get required number of bottles.
Regional Centre of Organic Farming,
Kadugodi Post, Bangalore-560067
Mobile: +91 95455 20037
Telephone 080 28450503, 28450506.
(This article written in Tamil by Jayakumar for Pasumai Vikatan magazine dt 10/4/18 has been transcreated in English by V Amalan Stanley)