Once jobless, Abul Kashem now earns Tk 4 lakh a year by selling vermicompost fertiliser prepared at his village Mayapukur in Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila. The 34-year-old is now the inspiration for many jobless youths in his locality. He is the only person from the area who is involved in making vermicompost and becomes successful.
Kashem studied till the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC). After passing HSC examinations in 2004, he was jobless for over a decade. In 2017, he first came to know about the organic fertiliser from a man of his area. He also came to know that it could be easily produced and due to low production cost, it is profitable too.
In December the same year, Kashem started to prepare vermicompost by taking lease of two bighas of land and he did not look back since then.
“The following year, I earned Tk 2.50 lakh by selling vermicompost to the villagers. The earnings rose to Tk 4 lakh in 2019. I hope to earn around Tk 5 lakh this year.” Said Kashem.
Vermicompost has a high demand among the local farmers as it is better than chemical fertilisers, the youth said, adding that many people offer advance payment to get the item from him but he cannot meet the demand of all of them.
Kashem further said vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertiliser and soil conditioner. Farmers mainly use it on their paddy and vegetable fields and guava orchards.
Kashem said he buys cow dung from the village farmers and keeps it in a big earthen hole. It is rotten in 20 to 25 days. It is used as feed for earthworms, and finally vermicompost is made from the earthworms’ dung.
He sells a sack containing 50 kg of vermicompost at Tk 750 while the production cost stands at around Tk 300 to Tk 350.
On an average, he produced 60 tonnes of fertiliser a year, said Kashem.
Monjurul Huda, deputy director (DD) of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Chapainawabganj, said vermicompost gives higher yield of crops than chemical fertilisers and also increases fertility of the soil.
They are trying to encourage the farmers to use vermicompost fertiliser, said the DD.
Kashem has recently received a seven-day training from Indian Institute of Bio-Social Research and Development in Kolkata on making compost from cow dung.
He also trained three youths on preparing vermicompost at Nasipur and Jamtala in Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila and Hili in Dinajpur.