Vermiculture is the cultivation of worms for composting. The resulting nutrient rich material from the worms is called vermicast which agriculturists consider as the best organic fertilizer in the world. Farmers and consumers alike are now on the lookout for chemical free produce as people see the urgency to reverse the damage and ill effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A farmer reported that chemical spray contributed to several deaths of water buffaloes in their area days after drinking pesticide contaminated water from the rice paddy. Research concluded that chemical fertilizer has harmful effects on the aquatic life in the water surrounding the areas that have been treated by such fertilizers. Herbicides sometimes leave harmful toxic residue on the plants. Pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables eventually land on the table for human consumption which is hazardous to health.
As consumer behavior shifts in favor of safer and healthier organic produce, a brighter future awaits vermiculture farmers.
In addition, it is a fact that waste management has become an important issue nowadays that must be addressed with a sense of urgency not only in the municipal level but even at individual household level as landfills are dumped with it more than capacity. Vermiculture can be done practically in every household.
With vermiculture, waste is converted into useful and earth friendly organic substance which is also the best fertilizer for the plants. The multiplier effects of this technology are numerous.
Vermicomposting helps in managing our kitchen waste as this can be done right under our kitchen sink because almost all kinds of fruit and vegetables peelings are good food for the worms. These scraps can be put on top of their bedding right away. However, worms hate onions (too strong for them), citrus family which is too acidic and oily foods scraps.
From these decaying scraps which the worms love to eat, they produce slow release fertilizer in the form of vermicast or worm poo. Vermicast is complete fertilizer and biologically safe and active.
Vermicompost or vermicast (earthworm manure) not only improves the quality of the soil but it helps reduce pollution, carbon dioxide emission and other green house gases which contribute to global warming. It is also a big help in reducing garbage in our landfill.Vermicompost is considered as an excellent product, since it ishomogenous, has desirable aesthetics, has reduced levels of contaminants and tends to hold more nutrients over a longer period without impacting the environment.
Businessmen-farmers considered it as black gold because there is a huge demand for organic fertilizer. Cultivated worms can be used as livestock feeds. There is a demand for cultivated worms for fishing enthusiasts who use them as baits.
Other aspects of vermiculture business has yet to be explored and the demand for vermicompost at the municipal level is high according to Grassland (a vermiculture farm) owner, Mr. Jose A. Honrado Jr.