Vermicomposting of banana agro-waste using an epigeic earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae (kinberg)

Research Article
P. Kavitha*, G. Ravikumar and S. Manivannan
Cow dung, banana waste, Eudrilus eugeniae, vermicompost, nutrient content

Banana is a major cash crop in India, generating vast agricultural waste after harvest. The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of banana-agro waste (dried leaves and pseudostem biomass) mixed with cow dung into vermicompost using earthworm E. eugeniae. Five treatments containing banana waste (BW) and cow dung (CD) in different ratios, were run under laboratory conditions. The maximum growth and reproduction was obtained in 0.20 kg BW + 0.80 kg CD treatment (T5), but worms grew and reproduce favourable in 0.20 kg BW + 0.60 kg CD treatment (T4) also. The earthworm mortality was higher in treatment those contained 1.00 kg BW alone (T1) and BW proportions ie. 0.80 kg BW + 0.20 kg CD (T2) and 0.60 kg BW + 0.40 kg CD (T3), respectively. Study revealed that greater proportion of BW in feed mixtures significantly affected the growth and reproduction during vermicomposting. In all the treatments, a decrease in pH, OC, C:N ratio, but increase in N, P and K was recorded at the end of experiment and comparatively T4 and T5 treatments showed great increase (from its initial level) for N, P and K than the other treatments (T1, T2 and T3). This study clearly indicates that BW could be potentitally useful as raw substrate in vermicomposting if mixed with CD in appropriate quantities. © 2010 IJRSR. All rights reserved.