The so-called 24-hr ‘compost’ harms the soil and all its produce, warns noted ecologist Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail

Soil biologist and ecologist Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail

If one were to sum up the entire body of work of this renowned soil biologist and ecologist in one word, it would be earthworms. Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail’s lifework is centred on the techniques for recycling biodegradable waste into fertilizer using local varieties of earthworms and soil bioremediation. Dr Ismail, MD of Ecoscience Research Foundation, Chennai, has conducted extensive awareness sessions especially among schoolchildren to promote vermicomposting and environmental awareness. For him, the two are inseparable.

Here’s his statement—reproduced verbatim—on 24-hour or automatic composters being manufactured and sold all over India by various firms claiming that their machines produce ‘compost’ in just 24 hours or sometimes, 48-72 hours. Continue reading

GOING ORGANIC-6: Low-cost infrastructure needed for large-scale vermicomposting

Adults and children in our apartment on a worm-sprinkling spree...

Adults and children in our apartment on a worm-sprinkling spree…

Building cement tanks for vermicomposting involves no rocket science. With some common sense, you can have them built with a local mason at a low cost. Involving an architect means two things: the cost goes up 3-4 times and they may come up with suggestions without having the basic knowledge about vermicompost. Continue reading