Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Livelihood Generation Avenues Using Earth-Worm Based Manure: A Study Referencing India

Written By

Analjyoti Basu and Jayanta Choudhury

Reviewed: 19 January 2022 Published: 23 June 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.102770

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The present-day world focuses more on organic manures to get rid of the ill effects of chemical manures. In this context, Earth-Worm-based organic manure, vermicompost, and vermiwash are essential. The earth-worm-based manure replaces chemical manures and favors sustainable development through green practices. However, the present study is riding on the fact that vermi- products have good livelihood and entrepreneurship generating opportunities. The study captures the opportunities in four parts. The first part explored the potential entrepreneurial cum employment-generating opportunities through the works carried by different researchers, while the second captures the reports of different organizations and corporate bodies. The third part focuses on the opportunity analyzed through the author’s field work’s primary data. Finally, the fourth part tries to bring out all the possibilities of India’s potential entrepreneurial cum employment generation possibilities by a modular approach.


  • vermicompost
  • vermiwash
  • entrepreneurship opportunity
  • employment generation

1. Introduction

The present-day world is focusing on sustainable development. The key solution for it would be, using available local resources through participatory management. In this context, organic manures vermicompost and vermiwash are essential. They replace chemical manures and this is placing an important argument in favor of sustainable development through green practices.

Evidence from history indicates that way back in 1905, the movement for an organic method of agriculture practices was realized.1 However, the yield from organic manure was less, and there was a need for more yields. This urge for more yield molded the Agri-system in the world to shift towards the chemical fertilizers. However, soon the ill effects of the chemical fertilizers emerged from all spheres. Chemical pesticides not only deplete the nutritional value of the food but also contaminate it. Research has consistently found pesticide residues in one-third of food consumed by a human. The results also indicated that the pesticides are also linked to more fatal diseases like—cancer, diseases linked to malfunctioning of both the nervous system and reproductive system. Owing to the deadly side-effects of chemical pesticides, the world community is slowly and surely moving towards the option of a “Green production system”.2 Different data throughout the world reflect the facts, and the tiltation is more visible after the 1990s. Until 2011, 162 countries practiced organic agriculture in 37 m Ha with Oceania, Europe and, Latin America are ranging from 12.1, 10.6 and 6.8 m Ha respectively (courtesy-ICAR). The data of business from organic farming is also not lagging. In the year 2011, the global sale of organic food and drink reached 62.9 billion US dollars.3

In terms of the Indian context, the story is quite different. At the time of independence, the country’s agricultural infrastructure was not organized and so was the food yield. So, India concentrated on more food yield to feed its large population and at the same time decrease the food import level to a minimum level. Research in the direction of more food yield brought “Green Revolution” in the 1960s, and there was an upsurge in the production of food in India. However, this development enhanced the use of chemical fertilizers in India, but the story of other parts of the world also prevailed in India [1]. It killed the beneficial soil organisms and destroyed their natural fertility, impaired the power of ‘biological resistance’ in crops making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Chemically grown foods have adversely affected human health. In this position second green revolution came at the hands of organic farming, keeping in mind a new vermiwash model [2]. Its use showed significant positive effects on the betterment of humans and animals through the growth of good quality crops and fruits.

Based on the discussion above, the introduction of vermiculture, vermicompost and vermiwash are essential. Vermicompost is the excreta of earthworms, which are capable of improving soil health and nutrient status. Vermiculture is a process by which all types of biodegradable wastes such as farm wastes, kitchen wastes, market wastes, bio-wastes of agro-based industries, live-stock wastes, etc. are converted while passing through the worm-gut to nutrient-rich vermicompost. Vermi worms used here act as biological agents to consume those wastes and to deposit excreta in the process called vermicompost [1]. Vermiwash is the liquid extract of the earthworms [3].

The current discussion showed how organic farming is steadily arriving into the world and in the Indian agricultural arena siding the use of chemical fertilizers. However, the present study does not concentrate on the utility of the vermi-products (vermicompost and vermiwash) in providing good health of the soil, plants, animals, human beings and other living beings. It mainly focuses on the fact that vermi-products based (mainly-vermicompost and vermiwash) products have great employment-generating potentiality apart from their traditional green utility. The employment-generating potentiality is mainly necessary for India because a large population (even educated) is under the grip of unemployment [4].

The main objectives of the current study are the following:

  1. To study different employment and entrepreneurship generation possibilities and the employment already generated the through use of vermi-products in different research works.

  2. To study different employment and entrepreneurship generation possibilities and the employment already generated through the use of vermi-products in different corporate and organizational reports.

  3. To explore the possible research works to be carried out on vermi-products by going through different research works of the researchers, and corporate and organizational reports.

The present study contributes to the existing literature in several ways. First, it investigates the employment generation and entrepreneurial idea generation paths by the use of vermiproducts. Although, several studies gave them ideas of employment and entrepreneurship through the use of vermin-products but the ideas are not presented collectively. The same thing could be spelled about the research avenues on Vermiculture. The present paper places a collection of researches that are carried out and that could be checked shortly. The study has therefore both academic and practical importance for the entrepreneurs, the existing organizations working on vermi-products, and also the policy makers. The research work is important for the existing organizations working on vermiculture because the work will guide them in capacity expansion, grow their business, and finally generate employment.

The study is divided into five sections. The present Section 1 is on introduction that is followed by Section 2 takes the present literature of vermiculture (i.e., vermicompost and vermiculture) into consideration. Section 2 is followed by Section 3 that discusses the research methodology. The Section 4 captures employment generation opportunities in four parts that is followed by the final Section 5 which is the conclusion part.


2. Vermicompost in literature

The utility of earth-worm-based manure vermicompost and vermiwash is felt from all spheres. Different union governments, scientists, environmentalists, and researchers have advocated for organic manure in place of chemical manures. This urge is being reflected in different literary and research works throughout the globe. Wani and Lee [5], Selden et al. [6], Yarger [7], Chakrabarty et al. [8], Adhikari [1], and Srinivasrao et al. [9] voiced for the utility of vermicompost. On the other hand, the usefulness of vermiwash is raised by Prabha and Varghese [10], Sundararasu and Jeyasankar [11], Khachi et al. [12], and Esakkiammal et al. [3].

Considering the international arena, the utility of vermicompost was well addressed by Wani and Lee [5], Selden et al. [6], and Yarger [7]. The more significant scenario of vermiculture is reflected in the research work carried out by Wani and Lee [5]. They felt that global productivity and environmental protection could be achieved by adopting ecological and sustainable farming practices. In this context, Selden et al. [6] said that vermicomposting is beneficial because of the benefits attached with it. According to them, it is faster than other traditional methods, and less space is required, and it has good positive environmental impacts. It reduces the number of green wastes that pollute landfills and sometimes different water bodies. The end product is rich in nutrients and boosts the productivity of the soil. The use of worms for organic matter production and application in small firms was examined by Yarger [7]. According to the author, vermiculture is having high utility from small firms’ point of view. It recycles kitchen and livestock wastes into rich organic fertilizer and produces high-protein feed for poultry. Moreover, the worms and worm castings are sold, generating business options. Worms help to build the soil in the garden.

In line with the international researches, good numbers of research works are carried out by the Indian academic community. However, the research works of Chakrabarty et al. [8], Adhikari [1], and Srinivasrao et al. [9] are worth mentioning in this context. In terms of the Indian scenario, Adhikari [1] focused on the fact that chemical fertilizers became an inseparable part of the Indian Agriculture system. Following the author, it could be said that the Green Revolution in 1960s has increased India’s agricultural output. However, at the same time, it has enhanced the use of chemical fertilizers. On its part, the chemical fertilizers have adversely affected the health of Indians. In this scenario, the author felt that there should be more and more vermicompost type organic manure, which firmly places the author’s favor for vermicompost and vermiculture that are promoters and protectors for crop plants. In this context, Srinivasrao et al. [9] in the Research Report for Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA)4 felt that as vermicomposting is being practiced for over two decades, such agricultural practices should come at the center stage of crop residue management and soil fertility enhancement. The research works also placed some bulletin documents useful for running different vermicompost production models and are useful for students, entrepreneurs, practitioners and field functionaries of the several development departments. Vermicompost and vermiproducts are not only for the growth of plants and good natural manure for the soil but have significant use in aquaculture was advocated by Chakrabarty [8]. Based on Chakrabarty and co-authors, there is an urgent needed to enhance the culture of earthworms. The food is highly nutritious as they contain iron and amino acid.

Some worth-mentioning works on vermiwash as utility manure came in the works of Prabha and Varghese [10], Sundararasu and Jeyasankar [11], Khachi et al. [12], and Esakkiammal et al. [3]. The physicochemical characteristics, followed by the presence of micronutrients and macronutrients, proteins, and carbohydrates in vermiwash before and after inoculation of earthworm species were tested by Prabha and Varghese [10]. Further, they conducted a comparative study on the effect of vermiwash upon Capsicum frutescens growth parameters for root and shoot length, number of leaf counts after 30 days of the plantation. Their study revealed that the quality liquid manure vermiwash obtained from the degradation of jackfruit waste was an effective bio-fertilizer that would facilitate the increased uptake of the nutrients by the plants resulting in higher growth and yield and also improving soil health. In the same manner, the effect of vermiwash was experimented with by Sundararasu and Jeyasankar [11]. The results were not different from Prabha and Varghese. The results revealed that vermiwash spray enhanced the growth parameters and yield parameters in plant height, number of leaves, number of flowers and fruits per plant. Also, other results indicated that the flowering and the fruiting ratio were significantly increased in experimental plots. Few pieces of researches tested the combined effect of vermicompost and vermiwash. The work of Esakkiammal et al. [3] falls in that line. They tested the combined effect of vermicompost and vermiwash from the organic wastes by earthworms on lab bean. The combination showed maximum results on the growth and yield of lab beans. The study also indicated that vermicompost and vermiwash could be effectively used for sustainable plant production at low-input basis green farming. The comparative efficacy of different manures (where vermiwash was one of the manures) was carried by Khachi et al. [12]. They tested the comparative efficacy of bio-organic nutrients on cropping behavior and fruit quality of kiwifruit. In it, farm yard manure (FYM), vermicompost (VC), bio-fertilizers (BF), green manure (GM), and vermiwash (VW) was used. The research output reflected the fact that—using various sources of bio-organic materials under the organic farming regime, there will be sufficient improvement in fruit quality and plant nutrient contents.

So, on totality, the result reflects those extracts from earthworms offer a valuable resource that could be effectively used for increasing the agricultural production, quality of agricultural output, and efficacy of the soil. Also, vermicompost and vermiwash can be economically and environmentally suitable for the soil environment.

However, there is a group of research works by different scholars that asserted towards linkage of vermiculture (i.e., vermicompost and vermiwash) in generating entrepreneurial opportunity and employment. The works indicated the linkages in three different ways. The researches of Tacon et al. [13], Stafford and Tacon [14, 15, 16], Nandeesha et al. [17], Mahajan et al. [18], Cruz [19], Khwairakpam and Bhargava [20], Joshi and Aga [31], Kesavan and Swaminathan [21], Chakrabarty et al. [22], Charyulu and Biswas [23], Sinha et al. [24], Adhikary [1], Srinivasrao et al. [9], Tah [25], Bhat et al. [26], and Basu and Sahoo [27] gave ideas of direct, indirect and composite initiative (i.e., after adding other ways with vermiculture) in generating entrepreneurial opportunity and employment subsequently. The present study captures the avenues through the works of the scholars.


3. Research methodology

The paper presents the employment generation avenues by the use of vermi-products mainly through three ways. First, analysis of the existing literary works of different scholars was carried that gave different ideas of entrepreneurial opportunity, employment generation, and further research on vermin-products and related fields. Following the first part, the second part assessed the reports of the corporate and organizational reports for accumulating thoughts on the entrepreneurial opportunity, employment generation, and further research on vermin-products and related fields. The final part focused on the previous research and output of the research carried out by the author on the subject of vermiculture. The field study was carried out by the author and the output generated ideas for entrepreneurship and employment [28]. The sample selection and primary data collection process in the study are discussed below.

3.1 Sample

The purposive sampling technique [29] was used in the study [28]. The users of the vermi-products were targeted in the study. For those 45 respondents who were farmers, producers of vermin-products, and distributors were interviewed. They belonged to three districts, namely Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, and Darjeeling, the Northern part of West Bengal.


4. Employment generation avenues through use of vermi-products

The present section explores the potential entrepreneurial cum employment-generating opportunities through four sub-sections. The first sub-section places different researchers’ works, which pulls up ideas on different entrepreneurship possibilities and subsequent employment generation. The second sub-section captures the reports of different organizations and corporate bodies and the possibilities of entrepreneurship and employment. In these two sub-sections, a part focuses on different research ideas that could help a good Food-For-Thought for the research fraternities. The third sub-section focuses on the opportunity analyzed through the primary data captured in the author’s fieldwork previously. Finally, the fourth part tries to bring out all the possibilities of India’s potential entrepreneurial cum employment generation possibilities by a modular approach.

4.1 Employment, entrepreneurship and research opportunities based on the scholastic output

The Indian educational community carried out further research that gave rise to entrepreneurship ideas, followed by employment possibilities. The ideas are placed directly or indirectly in these researches. The researches of Tacon et al. [13], Stafford and Tacon [14, 15, 16], Nandeesha et al. [17], Mahajan et al. [18], Cruz [19], Khwairakpam and Bhargava [20], Kesavan and Swaminathan [21], Chakrabarty et al. [22], Charyulu and Biswas [23], Sinha et al. [24], Adhikary [1], Srinivasrao et al. [9], Tah [25], Bhat et al. [26], and Basu and Sahoo [27] are mention-worthy in this direction. Direct employment generation ways through vermicompost or vermiwash came out in the works of Srinivasrao et al. [9] and Chattopadhyay [30], while the indirect possibilities came in the researches of Charyulu and Biswas [23], Adhikary [1], Tah [25], Srinivasrao et al. [9], Bhat et al. [26], and Basu and Sahoo [27]. The employment possibility created at the time of the production process of vermicompost or vermiwash is referred to as the direct employment possibility in the present study. On the other hand, the employment cum entrepreneurial possibility created indirectly is referred to as indirect employment possibilities.

The marketing, branding, after-sales service, etc., that does not come under the direct production process, comes under this category. However, in some cases, when vermicompost or/and vermiwash is combined with other forms of business, entrepreneurship cum employment possibility is generated. The combined efforts of business took a place in the works of Tacon et al. [13], Stafford and Tacon [14, 15, 16], Nandeesha et al. [17], Mahajan et al. [18], Cruz [19], Khwairakpam and Bhargava [20], Joshi and Aga [31], Kesavan and Swaminathan [21], Chakrabarty et al. [8, 22, 32], Sinha et al. [24], Srinivasrao et al. [9], Tah [25], Bhat et al. [26], and Basu and Sahoo [27]. Table 1 gives an overview of the possible entrepreneurship cum job opportunities.

Entrepreneurship and employment ideaDescriptionAuthorOpportunity type
Composite vermiculture, biomass and agriculture farmHere biomass is generated as a byproduct of vermicomposting and is a good source of protein for fishTacon et al. [13], Stafford and Tacon [14, 15, 16], Nandeesha et al. [17], Cruz [19], Khwairakpam and Bhargava [20], Joshi and Aga [31], Chakrabarty et al. [22]Composite Initiative
Self-help Group for vermicomposting and nurserySelf-help groups for combined work for nursery raising, vegetable cultivation, and vermicompostingMahajan et al. [18]Composite Initiative
Vermicompost in composite cultureCarrying out composite culture of medicinal, agricultural and plantation crops.Kesavan and Swaminathan [21]Composite Initiative
Composite vermicompost, poultry and fisheryProducing special feed using excess and old worms from vermipit, mixing it with poultry eggshell dust and plant rhizome to feed the fishesChakrabarty et al. [22]Composite Initiative
Organic aquaculture with vermicompost and vermiproductsLow-cost organic aquaculture in the vermiculture compound where vermicompost and vermiproducts (vermiwash, earthworm, cocoon, etc.) are produced. Here, adult earthworms, cocoons and vermiwash are utilized as live fish food, bait and fishmeal supplement and fish feed. Also, both solid and liquid animal excrement, silkworm pupae, earth worms’ remains and human food grain products will form fish feedsChakrabarty et al. [22]Composite Initiative
Juvenile fish rearing.Applying vermiwash for juvenile fish rearing.Chakrabarty et al. [8, 22, 32]Composite Initiative
Attachment of insurance to vermicompostingInsurance for the vermicomposting units for future production was lostCharyulu and Biswas[23]Indirect
Licensing and certification of vermi-compostLicensing and certification of vermi-compost for marketing/exportingCharyulu and Biswas[23]Indirect
Vermicompost production unit combination with, pharmaceutical detergent, poultry and fisheryEarthworms ‘biomass’ are rich in protein and so, they have good use in industries like pharmaceutical, detergent, poultry, and fisherySinha et al. [24]Composite Initiative
Vermimeal productionVermimeal or earthworm meal production for livestock, birds and fishAdhikary [1]Indirect
Vermimeal plastic bagsManufacturing special plastic bags for keeping vermimealAdhikary [1]Indirect
Cold storage for vermimealCold dry place for storage and maintenance of Vermimeal or earthworm mealAdhikary [1]Indirect
Municipal waste for vermicompostingSegregating municipal and/or other sources of wastes into categories and by vermicomposting manureChattopadhyay [30]Direct
Construction Group for vermicompost unitTo construct various forms of vermicompost units, i.e., individual, larger-community based, biogas linked-community vermicomposting unitsSrinivasrao, et al. [9]Indirect
Office jobBook–keeping, record maintenance, computer operation in the vermicompost unitsSrinivasrao et al. [9]Indirect
Marketing JobMarketing the products like vermicompost, Biogas plants outputSrinivasrao et al. [9]Indirect
Exchange selling of vermicompostCollecting semi/undecomposed material from the farmer community and getting decomposed vermicompost in returnSrinivasrao et al. [9]Direct
Contract selling of vermicompost for farmersContract with the fruit and vegetable farmers and selling them from time to timeSrinivasrao et al. [9]Indirect
Low or semi-skilled jobsAccumulation of food waste, paper, cardboard, agriculture waste, manures, and biosolidsSrinivasrao et al. [9]Direct
NGO job on popularizing effortNGOs on popularizing vermicompost by organizing awareness campaigns in rural and urban areasSrinivasrao et al. [9]Indirect
Cottage Industry on Mass rearingCottage industry on mass rearing, maintenance of worm cultures, and tapping of organic wastesSrinivasrao et al. [9]Direct
Live-stock and calf rearing in vermicompost compoundFor supply of the dung for the vermiccompost units rearing the live-stock and their calf in the vermicompost compoundSrinivasrao et al. [9]Composite Initiative
Organic waste recycling initiativeOrganic waste recycling through vermicomposting in rural areas to create an asset at the farm level which can act as a source of nutrient self-sufficiencySrinivasrao et al. [9]Direct
Composite vermicomposting and mushroom production.By applying modern scientific approach producing vermicompost and cultivating mushrooms at the same timeTah [25]Composite Initiative
Trainers for training programsTo train members of different Self-Help Groups (like women and youths), small and micro-industries for working on different works of vermicompost and vermiwash units like managing and collection of organic wastes, way of application of vermicompost for various crops, amount of application of vermicompost for various crops. Based on the agri-university schemes on vermicomposting, need for trainers for training and demonstrationSrinivasrao et al. [9], Charyulu and Biswas[23], Tah [25]Indirect
Vermicompost in Greenhouse trainingTraining on using vermicompost in greenhouse potting medium consisting of sand, pine bark and peatBhat et al. [26]Indirect and Composite Initiative
Contract selling of vermicompost for urban house-holdsContract with urban-households having garden and selling manures to themBasu and Sahoo [27]Indirect
Training small-household on vermicompost production and vermi-bed constructionTraining households in the urban and rural areas for vermicompost production and constructing small vermin-beds in their premises. Further, collecting the vermicomposts with the help of mobile applications from time to timeBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative
Vermi-bed construction and Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)Constructing vermin-beds in the rural and urban households based on demand and further maintaining them through AMCBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative
Rural Tourism and VermicultureKeeping vermiculture units visit as an item of Rural Tourism. Further, to increase the enjoyment level the visitors could participate in the activities carried in the vermicompost/vermiwash production unitsBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative
Vermicompost units in Tea gardensTea leaves are important raw-materials for vermicomposting. So, the vermin-beds could be constructed in the tea gardens to reduce transportation and labor costsBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative
Vermicompost units with cow/buffalo shedsCow and buffalo dungs are important raw-materials for vermicomposting. So, the vermin-beds could be constructed along with cow/buffalo shedsBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative
Vermicompost units with food/ fruit processing unitsFood and fruit wastes are important ingredients for vermicomposting. So, the vermi-beds could be constructed along with food/fruit processing unitsBasu and Sahoo [27]Composite Initiative

Table 1.

Entrepreneurship and employment ideas based on scholastic outputs.

Source: Author compilation based on earlier studies.

The previous research works have opened doors for future research opportunities for the researchers’ community. The works of Chandra [33], Behera et al. [34], Tharmaraj et al. [35], Sinha et al. [24], Nath and Singh [36], Adhikary [1], Chattopadhyay [30], Chatterjee and Thirumdasu [37], Chattopadhyay [38], Varghese and Prabha [10], and Esakkiammal et al. [3] are worth mentioning in this context. Based on the research needs, there is a good opportunity to research different state-funded research laboratories, higher education institutes, corporate laboratories, and any research bodies adjoined with Vermiculture-based research. These laboratories and organizations will also generate employment on their part. Table 2 focuses on the research concepts based on different scholastic outputs.

AuthorResearch description
Tharmaraj et al. [35]Research on to check different types of vermicomposts based on physical properties like Porosity, water holding capacity and moisture content
Tharmaraj et al. [35]Research on to Check different types of vermicomposts based on chemical properties like the presence of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and calcium
Behera et al. [34], Nath and Singh [36], Adhikary[1], Chattopadhyay [38], Chatterjee, Thirumdasu[37], Esakkiammal et al. [3]Research on the combined effect of vermicompost with different manures in different proportions on different fruit, vegetables and the soil output.
Nath and Singh[36]Research on the combined effect of vermicompost with different manures in different proportions on the safety of human and animal health
Sinha et al. [24]Research on the vermicompost and the amount of PH to be increased in the soil
Sinha et al. [24]Research on the vermicompost, the specific waste to make it and it’s benefit on a specific soil
Sinha et al. [24]Research on the vermicompost and its contribution in increasing specific microbes in the soil
Sinha et al. [24], Adhikary[1], Chattopadhyay [30]Research on the vermicompost and the specific plant disease(s) to be suppressed
Adhikary[1]Research on to check the amount to be administered in the field to Develop Biological Resistance in plants
Adhikary[1]Researches on to check the amount to be mastered or mix with other substances or other manures in generating the ability to suppress plant disease
Adhikary[1]Research on to stipulate the amount to be mastered or to mix with other substance or other manures to get rid of infection of insect and different pests
Chatterjee and Thirumdasu [37]Research on creating vermicompost from different sources and their special match ability with a specific type of fruits and vegetables.
Varghese and Prabha [10], Chandra [33]Research on Earthworms and their capability to decompose wastes and also specific wastes like a municipal waste.

Table 2.

Research concepts based on scholastic outputs.

Source: Author compilation based on earlier studies

4.2 Employment, entrepreneurship and research opportunities based on organizational/corporate reports

Different Annual Reports and Research Reports published by different corporate bodies and organizations are good resources in entrepreneurial cum employment generation opportunities. The reports focused and further advocated for the growth of organic farming in India. The good part of organic farming is captured by vermicompost and vermiwash [2]. So, a significant part of these reports focused on the ideas of entrepreneurial cum employment generation opportunities by using vermiculture. The present sub-section, through Table 3, places different entrepreneurial and employment generation avenues that came up in the mentioned reports. The reports mainly presented the actual happenings in terms of entrepreneurial and employment generation through the use of vermicompost and vermiwash. However, in some cases, they have given ideas of the entrepreneurial and employment generation possibilities. Following section Ci, the opportunities are segregated as direct, indirect, and composite initiatives.

Entrepreneurship and employment ideasDescriptionOrganization/corporate reportOpportunity type
Vermicompost Infrastructure building contractVermicompost infrastructure building contract through space for cattle, vermicompost bed, compost tank, vermiwash making, compost tea unit, etc. Further planting trees, digging irrigation well, starting water pumping infrastructure, digging percolation tanks for rainwater conservation, digging farm pond, 200 lit tanks (1 per acre) for liquid manure preparation. Also constructing containers for botanicals, NADEP tank, biodynamic compost beds, liquid manure tanks, cowpat pits, underground cattle-urine collection tankNational Horticulture Mission, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi1Indirect
Composite vermicompost, arecanut and cocoa- gardens and biomass generationArecanut and cocoa-gardens generate waste can be effectively utilized for production of vermicompost and generate biomass. Further arecanut-and cocoa-gardens waste can be utilized for the production of oyster mushroom and as livestock feed.ICAR News, A science and Technology Newsletter [39]2Composite Initiative
Plastic or wooden model productionVermicompost is often prepared in wooden or plastic model.National Research Centre for Women in Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bhubaneswar3Indirect
Composite vermicompost production and ornamental plant cultivationVermicompost and vermiwash production and using the manures for the growth of ornamental plantsNational Research Centre for Women in Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bhubaneswar3Composite Initiative
TransportationArranging transportation facility to transport vermiccompost in different placesNational Research Centre for Women in Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bhubaneswar3Indirect
Integrated manure managementIntegrated manure management through producing Vermicompost, Neem cake, and Phosphate Rich OrganicDepartment of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Government of India4Composite Initiative
Composite vermicompost production and exotic fish rearingProducing vermicompost and also rearing the fast-growing exotic fishesKolkata Gazette, Department Agriculture, Government of West Bengal, India [40]Composite Initiative
Composite hatcheries and vermicompost unitRunning the vermiculture hatchery and vermicompost unit in the same vermiculture unitNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011), Bihar, India [41]Direct and Composite Initiative
Market ResearchMarket Research on Need assessment and market demand analysisNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011), Bihar, India [41]Indirect
Group Formation for production and managementFormation of farmers group for production and management or by group of villagers. Further Equitable benefit sharing arrangements among the group membersNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011)Bihar, India [41]Direct
Procurement and rearing of suitable speciesProcurement of suitable species of earth worms like Eiscenia feotida, Periyonix excavates, and Udrelis eugine and rearing themNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011), Bihar, India [41]Indirect
Testing laboratoriesTesting of the vermin-products in laboratories after production to stop adulteration of the productsNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011), Bihar, India [41]Indirect
Marketing JobPackaging, branding Develop market linkages and marketingNational Horticulture Mission, Annual Action Plan (2010–2011), Bihar, India [41]Indirect

4.3 Field survey and employment, entrepreneurship and research opportunities

The present sub-section is based on the author’s previous fieldwork. This sub-section field survey was carried out by the author to assess employment, entrepreneurship, and research opportunities through vermicompost and vermiculture. The sub-section is divided into two parts, i.e., Description and main outcomes, employment and research ideas.

  1. Description and main outcomes

    The author carried out the research in West Bengal, the eastern state of India (As previously discussed in Section C). Further, about 45 users (farmers, producers, distributors) of the product were interviewed from three districts, namely Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, and Darjeeling, the Northern part of West Bengal. The work was carried out to assess the users’ impression about the vermiproducts (vermicompost and vermiwash), study the present scenario of the market, and explore the possibilities of employment generation [28].

    The outcome reveals several facets of the use of vermicompost and vermiwash, which in their part advocated for the use of organic manures. In words, they are as follows-

    • Vermiwash is not harmful to the plants, instead is useful for the plants. It helps the vegetables fresh even after they are plucked from the main plant and the color of the vegetable remains unchanged. Also, it saves the plant from insects.

    • The vermiwash and vermicompost help keep the land fertile for a long time though it may not produce is high yield compared to the inorganic manure or foliar spray.

    • A greater amount of vermiwash is needed concerning the inorganic foliar spray for the field.

    • Still, a small section of farmers has used the organic foliar in their land, so there are many opportunities for the businessmen and entrepreneurs to generate lots of business and good income from the business.

    • Vermiwash and vermicompost are organic manures, so the crops grown by using them will not be harmful to people consuming different crops.

    • Vermiproducts cost less than the inorganic foliar in the market and, if used regularly, in the long run, give a high yield from the field.

    • The product has a high market opportunity and future. To maintain the productivity of their land, the farmers use cow dung as organic manure in a year. So, if cow dung could be replaced by vermiproducts, there will be an upsurge in the market for vermiproducts, for that high awareness, the drive is needed, and wherever the awareness drive is successful, the product has placed its feet.

  2. Entrepreneurship, employment, and research opportunities

The entrepreneurship opportunities, followed by the employment, are generated from the needs of the people, gaps in a different process, and problems faced [42, 43, 44, 45]. Based on the gaps and the study’s problems, Basu and Panda [28], and the author in the present study carried the future entrepreneurial and research opportunities.

  1. Awareness drive for business growth—Interview with the respondents revealed that farmers maintain the productivity of their land by using cow dung as organic manure (at least once in a year) in their fields. So, if the vermiproducts can replace the existing cow-dung manure as the organic one then the breakthrough could be easily achieved. For that high awareness, the drive is needed. If done, the sales of vermiproducts will soar up, and more business ventures on vermiproducts will come up.

  2. Small packages—From the interview with the respondents, it came up that small package is not that available, and farmers are not interested in big packs all the time. It indicates that there is a demand for small packages, but supply is inadequate. It places the idea of small package supply, or production could be a good idea for an entrepreneurial venture.

  3. Production stages—From collecting waste to selling the product to the market, different steps are followed for vermicompost production. They are collection of wastes (in form of cow dung, vegetable, flowers and fruit wastes and other organic wastes) from different locations, followed by sending the collected materials to different production centers, production of the final product, packaging and preservation of final products before sell, sending the final product to different distribution center and distributing the product to the final customer from different distribution center, and finally the after sales services (Refer Figure 1). Based on the stages, different works, followed by employment avenues, are as follows [28].

    • Stage 1: Waste Collection — The works attached in this stage are the collection of wastes (e.g., cow dung, vegetable, flowers and fruit wastes and other organic wastes), (in some cases) semi-composting them to send them to the final production center.

    • Stage 2: Composting in production center — The works joined in this stage are monitoring and taking necessary action in different levels of composting, Quality Control (QC) for different composting levels.

    • Stage 3: Packing final product — The works joined in this stage are packing the final products in appropriate packaging packs, sample checking to eliminate adulteration, conservation, and inventory management by different packed products.

    • Stage 4: Transportation to the distribution center — In this stage, the works are transportation to the distribution center, conservation measures for the unsold vermicomposts, and temporary inventory-related jobs.

    • Stage 5: After-sales service — In this case, the works are to monitor and provide necessary suggestions to the customers, making the collection of customer grievances and escalating it to the necessary level, market research work to make necessary changes all the time, so it becomes more acceptable to the customers.

  4. Research on Profile Card and Information Bank- After analyzing the interviews and going through different suggestions, the concept of “Profile and Suggestion Card” is being placed by Basu and Panda [28]. According to it, the product vermiwash contains different micronutrients like potassium, phosphate, sodium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc in definite proportions (Refer-Appendix). These proportions are permanently fixed and are not changed from field to field. However, the field capacity and needs for nutrients may not be the same. For example, some of them may need more sodium than others. In that case, the fixed proportion in the vermiwash cannot provide the same. To get rid of the problem, soil testing, of each field is needed and on basis of it a Profile and Suggestion Card for each piece of farmland could (Refer Figure 2) be prepared. The criteria could be the specific land’s suitable vegetables, fruits and food grains; for a smooth yield of the vegetables, fruits and food grains the extra number of micronutrients needed; mapping suitable vegetables, fruits and food grains with the number of micronutrients to be used; the number of times specific crops could be grown; if micronutrient deficiency is thereafter the growth of any specific crop than the amount of micronutrient to be added back. So, experts, after testing the soil of different fields, can prepare the card. According to the authors, good research is needed for preparing the card. Further, they suggested using the card for customizing the vermiwash. After going through the above-described card and knowing the farmer’s choice for a specific crop, the vermiwash product could be customized by changing the proportion of the micronutrients used [28]. In this connection, the authors further suggested that the Government authority maintain “Information Bank” at their end. The Bank will keep all the mentioned information for their future use.

Figure 1.

Stages involved in collection of wastes to the distribution of the wastes. (Source: Based on primary survey).

Figure 2.

Use of profile and suggestion card. (Source: Basu and Panda [28]).

4.4 Employment, entrepreneurship and research opportunities through modular approach

The present sub-section accumulates the entrepreneurship cum employment generation ideas in a single platform through a Modular Approach [46, 47]. The platform consists of direct ideas, indirect ideas, Composite Initiative, and the Research Avenues (for the research community) for employment generation (Refer Figure 3).

Figure 3.

Employment and research ideas. (Source: Present study.)


5. Conclusion

The present research reveals that there are different ways to generate employment by producing verminproducts (i.e., verrmicompost and vermiwash) as organic manures. Adding to the support site for the organic manure production the researchers and experts opined that environmental sustainability, growing health awareness, Governments aim in reducing heavy subsidies on food and fertilizers, the potentiality of high export earnings are the points of future opportunity for organic farming in the country. However, the present scenario of organic farming is quite gloomy. Based on the data of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority or APEDA, in 2007–2008, the total Gross Cultivated Area (GCA) under certified organic cultivation was only 0.31 percent (appx.), i.e., 0.45 million hectares. India ranked 33rd in total land under organic cultivation and 88th position for agriculture land under organic crops to the total farming area in 2007–2008. Following the researchers and experts, it could be said that lack of established markets having disjointed producers, processors and traders, poor quality management in production and processing, less incentives from the government on organic farming research, adulteration and poor quality of organic inputs, a large number of small farms with weak organizational build-up, high labor costs, high cost of organic food, lack of infrastructure facilities (like labs) and certification bodies and costly and complex organic certification process are the main problems of organic farming in India. However, at present, there is a strong need to cover-up the points of weaknesses with the points of strengths. The employment generation point places that lethal point in favor of organic farming (in terms of vermiculture) in India. If the data of APEDA Report 2007–2008 (as cited in Charyulu and Biswas [23]) is minutely checked, the opportunity is revealed. In terms of words, it could be said that less than one percent of the agricultural land in India is cultivated under organic cultivation. It means that 99% is still not cultivated under organic cultivation. In the present study, the employment generation possibilities through organic endeavors are considered.

based on this 1% cultivation but not 99%. So, it could be well imagined that if the rest 99% is brought under the organic endeavors in the future (at least partially or once a year cultivation method) then there is a significant entrepreneurship cum employment generation possibility left. This could be achieved through a well-designed awareness drive for organic farming.


pH7.48 × 0.03
Electro conductivity dS/m0.25 × 0.03
Organic Carbon %0.008 × 0.001
Total Kjeldal Nitrogen %0.01 × 0.005
Available Phosphate %1.69 × 0.05
Potassium (ppm)25 × 2
Sodium (ppm)8 × 1
Calcium (ppm)3 × 1
Copper (ppm)0.01 × 0.001
Ferrous (ppm)0.06 × 0.001
Magnesium (ppm)158.44 × 23.42
Manganese (ppm)0.58 × 0.040
Zinc (ppm)0.02 × 0.001
Total Heterotrophs (CFU/ml)1.79 × 103
Nitrosomonas (CFU/ml)1.01 × 103
Nitrobactor (CFU/ml)1.12 × 103
Total Fungi (CFU/ml)1.46 × 103

Source: Field Study.


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Written By

Analjyoti Basu and Jayanta Choudhury

Reviewed: 19 January 2022 Published: 23 June 2022