Tacloban farmers turn trash to cash via vermicomposting
Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations from Tacloban are now reaping the benefits of producing organic fertilizers via vermicomposting.
Not only are these farmers finding a productive avenue to manage organic/biodegradeable waste, they are also finding out that these waste materials are actually becoming an additional source of income to sustain their families.
First off, what is vermicomposting?
Vermicomposting is a composting process that entails the use of worms to produce vermicast or the manure excreted by the worms which are considered effective organic fertilizers. These are later sold as organic fertilizers that are considered a better alternative to chemical based fertilizers.
Based on a news release posted on the Department of Agrarian Reform website, the ARBOs ventured into the vermicomposting business last July and in five months time, were able to produce over 1,000 kilos of vermicasts from 30 kilos of African night crawlers provided to them by the DAR.
Among those who joined the program were the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Caibiran (NAMACA) of Caibiran, Biliran, Hacienda Maria Cooperative (HAMACO) in San Isidro, Leyte; Merida Agricultural Diversified Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MADS-MPC) in Merida, Leyte and the SAPISA Irrigators Association Inc. in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar.
According to the farmers, most of their regular buyers come from the cut flower industry, commercial farm owners as well as other farmers near their areas.
So far, the NAMACA has sold P13,250 worth of vermicasts while the HAMACO has a pending order worth P17,500. The other ARBOs have been building their clientele as well.
To support the project, the DAR has provided participating ARBOs with shredders that they can use to produce subtrates, which are composites of waste materials and animal manures. The DAR also supplied participants with ANCs as well as vermi tea brewers which the farmers can use to improve their yield. (ANGEL ONG)
Source: Department of Agrarian Reform