Under the AHEAD programme (AHEAD/RA2/ELTAELSE/JFN/FAG/OVAA 07/WS1) the Faculty of Agriculture organized a workshop on ” Vermitechnology ” on 14th of February 2022 at the Main auditorium of the Faculty of Agriculture, Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi from 8.00 am-16.15 pm. The Professor Gunasingham Mikunthan, senior professor in Agricultural Biology at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna and the Dr. K. Pakeerathan senior Lecturer in Agricultural Biology at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna served as the resource persons. Fifty-two participants (Farmers from all five district of the Northern Province, Eastern province) attended the workshop.
The practice of vermiculture is at least a century old but it is now being revived worldwide with diverse ecological objectives such as waste management, soil detoxification and regeneration and sustainable agriculture. Earthworms act in the soil as aerators, grinders, crushers, chemical degraders and biological stimulators. They secrete enzymes, proteases, lipases, amylases, cellulases and chitinases which bring about rapid biochemical conversion of the cellulosic and the proteinaceous materials in the variety of organic wastes which originate from homes, gardens, dairies and farms. The process is odour free because earthworms release coelomic fluids in the decaying waste biomass which has anti-bacterial properties which kills pathogens. Therefore, this workshop aimed to impart the technical knowledge and aspects of vermiculture.
The workshop started with the opening remarks delivered by the AHEAD Activity coordinator (Activity 5) Dr. K. Pakeerathan. Then the Dr.S.Vasantharuba, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture briefed the activities of the Faculty of Agriculture under talking to uplift the society through community engagement programme. Thereafter, sessions of the workshop started with series of lectures and field demonstrations about vermitechnology. The resource persons focused on importance of the soil health management for crop production, role of earthworms in soil health improvement and fertility management, applicable techniques and technologies in earthworm rearing and vermi-compost production, methods to develop commercial scale vermicompost production unit, marketing strategies and problems while running vemi-unit. Farmers were actively participated in sum up discussion after completion of every session. The seminar was end with the awarding certificates to participants and resource persons and concluding remarks.
At the end of the workshop participants gave the feed-back as summary. Key points of the feed backs are
- They are confident enough to startup a new vermi unit
- The gained the knowledge on design and construction of vermiculture and vermi wash unit
- They are very clear on principles and process of vermicomposting
- They will apply new skills learned to sort out the currently facing technical problems.