Kitchen waste reaches farmland, the BHU way

published on October 29, 2010

Anuraag Singh, Hindustan Times

Varanasi : For homemakers looking for a solution to dispose of kitchen waste, the Banaras Hindu University has an answer. Developed by a team of researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS-BHU), the solution, interestingly, not only helps housewives dispose of kitchen waste, but also power organic farming in the country.

Led by Prof Asha Sinha, a mycologist and plant pathologist, a group of researchers has produced organic fertilizer from kitchen waste, which was successfully used in farming.

Impressed by Prof Sinha’s efforts, the UP Government, under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, has sanctioned Rs 14 lakh for Dr Sinha to demonstrate and produce microbe-rich manure from agro and kitchen waste to develop Integrated Nutrient Technology  for boosting wheat produce in east UP, in two years.. Informed Sinha, while talking to HT on Wednesday, “We’ve not only developed organic fertilizer from kitchen waste, but have successfully used it in agriculture, particularly vegetable farming, including tomato, brinjal and onion, besides conventional crops.”

Also, as part of the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) project, farmers in Purnea district of Bihar have been trained in turning kitchen waste into manure/fertilizer to spur organic farming in their region.

Informed Sinha, the process of making kitchen-waste based organic fertilizer obviously starts from the kitchen through collection of waste, followed by digging of pits in the open where the kitchen waste is put on a layer of soil, only to be topped by a layer of plant growth promoting microbes.

“In the two-year-long research, we’ve isolated seven plant growth promoting microbes and formed their strong consortium, which makes kitchen waste decompose within 30 days, resulting in potent organic manure to farmers,” Sinha maintained.

While, the consortium of seven microbes helps waste-soil layer develop into potent organic manure in 30 days. Even in the absence of this microbial consortium, farmers have been trained to obtain the same organic manure in 50 days, via the microbial diversity present in the soil, which also helps the waste decompose into manure efficiently.

“The most successful story of our research has come from Ghazipur district of east UP, where one of our students helped farmers adopt the technology and produce 20-plus trolleys of kitchen waste based manure,” she maintained.

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