Khadi Board to encourage use of vermicompost in tea gardens
Kolkata: West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has taken up a project to encourage the production and use of vermicompost in the tea gardens across North Bengal. Vermicompost enriches the soil, increases harvest yields and also suppresses plant disease and most importantly enhances the flavour and quality of tea.
"We have identified 560 tea garden workers under Moynaguri Block in Jalpaiguri district. We will provide them training for the production of vermicompost and will supply the raw materials that are needed for the production. The quality and flavour of the tea will be much greater with the use of this fertilizer," a senior official of WBKVIB said.
It may be mentioned that four gram panchayats including Churabhander, Khagrabari I, Khagrabari II and Aamguri and 11 other places like Ratherhat, Bhangamali, Bhangerhat, Churabahder, Dewarikamari, Huslu Danga, Bashilar Danga, Dhola Guri, Khagrabari, Tekutuli, Uttar Khagrabari will come under the project.
A senior official informed that vermicompost is used as fertilizer in some of the tea gardens in North Bengal but in a sporadic manner through some individual entrepreneurs. "Such compost had to be purchased from entrepreneurs in Medinipur and some other places and the cost of transportation was very high. We will be forming samitis and will provide the necessary infrastructure for large scale production," the official added.
In recent times, there has been demand of vermi compost from the tea gardens of Assam. The cultivation of pineapples and oranges have also witnessed demand of vermicompost.
"We have been observing that there has been a gap in demand and supply and so we have taken this initiative to plug it," the official said. The state Finance department has allocated Rs 3 crore for the project.
Vermicomposting is the usage of earthworms to convert vegetable waste to a 100 percent natural plant fertilizer. The most important aspect of compost produced by earthworms is that it is 100 percent organic. There are no harmful chemicals and it does not need to be mixed with anything.