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Concept And Description Of Vermiculture And Vermicomposting Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1615 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Innovation begins with a spark which can transform our lives! Using simple technologies and amplifying it on a large scale basis is more of a vision than just an innovation. Keeping the common man in mind, our team has put forth this proposal of a High-Efficiency Bio-Cyclic Plant.

The per capita waste generated in India is estimated to be about 0.5 kg/day with the decomposable matter approximately 45-65%. Many developing countries are struggling with inefficient solid municipal waste management systems due to lack of good knowledge about processing the solid waste. In common, the waste processing is sanitary land filling or uncontrolled dumping which results mainly soil and water pollution. The disposal is also carried out by the process of composting and incineration.

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Vermiculture (Earthworm farming) is another technique for obtaining compost from solid decomposable waste. Vermicompost is a high grade nutrient rich compost which is found to be used as biofertilizer. In India, nearly 134 kg/ha nutrients are removed every year from the soil due to growing of different crops. But the amount of input (N, P and K) through chemical fertilizers is found to be 74 kg/ha only. The net result is that soil is commonly being depleted of these essential nutrient elements on a constant basis.

Apart from enhancing the soil nutrient levels, the vermicomposting process will be helpful in getting the profitable output out of pisciculture, as it is known through some research paperss known through variou their fast by providing earthworms in feed izer,e. The fishes grow well and fast by providing earthworms as their feed because earthworms are good protein source (72% body weight). The fish pond water and solid waste water are found to be good source for the algal bloom, as they have many required minerals for the algal growth.

This following information is the planned description of various units in our business project plan:-

Biodegradable waste separation Unit:

India has an inefficient system to collect and process solid waste. The Municipal solid waste is collected and subjected to separation methods such as flocculation and gravity separation. With this, the non-biodegradable wastes like plastics and other metal wastes are excluded from the biodegradable waste. The biodegradable waste collected here will be added along with the agricultural waste collected from agricultural lands in the manure pits for preparing the manure.

Manure Preparation Unit:

The separated solid biodegradable waste is collected and it is dumped in three 8 ft (l) x 8 ft (b) x 10 ft (h) pits for decomposition process. The manure which is formed after 120 days is used for the process of vermicomposting. The manure prepared here will be transferred to the vermicomposting unit. The manure prepared in this unit will be sufficient to fulfill the needs of vermicomposting unit.

Vermicomposting unit:

Ten Vermicomposting sub-units are established with dimensions 50 ft (l) x 1.5 ft (b) x 2.5 ft (h) in an area of less than half acre. All sub-units will be fenced to prevent any attack of the predators. Initially, 10 kg of vermicompost with worms (approximately 0.5kg-1kg worms) per each vermicomposting unit is purchased. Each unit is left for 60 days duration to obtain good number of earthworms along with the vermicompost. To ensure the continuous supply of the worms to the pisciculture unit, the vermicomposting units are started with the time difference of 6 days each.

The vermicompost is sieved such that the worms are separated from the compost. The separated worms will be given as feed for the fishes in pisciculture. The compost will be further enriched with the legume plant root extract which will be packed for commercialization. Also, the vermicompost along with the worms and only worms are commercialized.

Pisciculture Unit:

Three ponds of 1 acre each are dug and will be filled with required ground water along with accurate fertilizer treatment. 1,200 fingerlings are added to each pond and will be initially fed with 150g – 250g smashed earthworms. The feed amount varies from month to month along with respect to the weight of the fish. After a period of 4 months, the fishes are sold. The water in ponds will be changed after every 3 cycles (12 months).

Algal Bloom Unit:

2 acres land is used for the algal bloom unit. The 12 month fish pond water, rich in ammonia concentration along with some other fish excretes, will be good water source for nourishment of algal blooms. Further, the flocculation unit water, used in the biodegradable material separation, is also mixed with the pond water to increase the mineral content of the water source. In a short time, these algae grow well under good sun light. This will be dried and supplied to the algal biodiesel plant.

Financial Feasibility:

Biodegradable waste separation unit, Manure preparation unit and Vermicomposting unit:

The following table shows the investment required to establish the Biodegradable waste separation, Manure preparation unit and Vermicomposting unit.

Initial Investment (item)

Cost ranging in rupees (Lakhs)

Initial Input cost

(Solid waste price and transportation charges, Flocculation and gravity separation)

3.0 – 4.0

Construction cost

(Digging pits for manure preparation, Slabs for setting up 10 pits, each size of 50 ft (l) x 1.5 ft (b) x 2.5 ft (h)).

1.5 – 2.0

Other facilities cost

(boring, manure transferring costs and other labor costs)

1.2 – 1.5

Sieving machines (For separating worms from the compost)

2.1 – 2.5

Land cost (0.5 acre)

1.0 – 2.0

Total Investment

8.8 – 12.0As per the norms the total time period for vermicomposting process in each sub-unit is 60 days with a gap of 6 days between the sub-units. Each kilogram of manure is sold at a price of Rs.3/kg where the total production is of 10,000 Kg/pit/cycle (60 days) out of which the earth worm production is of 500 kg’s (0.5%). Only earthworms can be sold at a price of rupees 50/kg.

As we see that there is an initial investment cost which is high in the year 1 and may have effect on year 2, this project would generate an income of rupees 11-12 Lakhs from sales excluding the labor costs and also the feed to the 3 acres of pisciculture ponds.

So there is an income production which is feasible for the project to be operated, as this would provide more returns only including less operational costs and variable costs, as the number of years pass by, the raise of finance through funding help both the management and the creditors to get their expected rate of return along with improving the retained earnings of the company.

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Pisciculture plant:

For Pisciculture plant the important thing is that there is a shift of earthworm as feed where a total of 360 kg of feed is needed for a whole 4 month cycle for the three operating plants. These three plants would cultivate a 3,600 fishes for the whole three plants for 4 months. The investment here goes to 7 – 11.5 lakhs.

Initial investment (Item)

Cost ranging in (Lakhs)

Construction cost

(Land digging)

2.0 – 2.5

Initial material cost

(boring facilities, motor purchase cost, piping, fingerlings)

2.0 – 3.0

Land cost

(3 acres)

3.0 – 6.0

Total Investment

7.0 – 11.5

These are initial investments required for the project to be under taken. This unit depends on the Vermicomposting unit. The fishes feed on the earth worms and there would be an opportunity cost of Rs.18,000 in going for this project in each cycle as this would require 360 kg’s of earthworm as feed for one cycle of 4 months duration. The operational costs and variable costs are high when compared to the Vermicomposting plant since the maintenance cost of this plant is high.

Now coming to the income, each pond would generate an income of Rs.25,000 -Rs.35,000 as profit margin for one cycle, so there would be an income of Rs.75,000 – Rs.1,05,000 for three ponds and for three cycles this provide an average profit margin of Rs.2,70,000 approximately. This profit can be improved if we consider more number of ponds.

This plant has got separate investment decision features as the raising funds through debenture would help the investors as well as the creditors in earning money. The income levels are low at the starting stages and as referred to the concept of economies of scale, the income level will increase with more plants.

Algal bloom:

The algae are found to a source for bio-diesel production. The general open pond systems are known to produce 50,000 gallons of oil/acre/year. But as we are using the 12 month pond water we are expecting the improvement in the production. The following are the requirements.

Initial investment (Item)

Cost ranging in (Lakhs)

Construction cost

(Land digging)

2.0 – 2.5

Land cost

(3 acres)

3.0 – 6.0

Total Investment

5.0 – 8.5

The returns depend on the Indian biodiesel market which is yet to be developed.

The other costs include salary for manpower (approximately 15 in number), selling and distribution expenses, power expenses, lighting facilities etc. which are variable and of small proposition.


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