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VERMICOMPOSTING USING EXOTIC SPECIES OF EARTHWORMS
Exotic species of earthworms have also been used in India for vermicomposting. Internationally three species of earthworms have received acclaim for vermicomposting, they being Eisenia foetida and Eudrilus eugeniae, which are exotic, and Perionyx excavatus, which is endemic.

VERMICOMPOSTING USING EXOTIC SPECIES OF EARTHWORMS Since 1982 E. eugeniae has been promoted for waste degradation. Eudrilus eugeniae is reported to have surpassed both in feeding and reproductive rates compared to other species of earthworms. Eisenia foetida however is used in certain areas in India for domestic waste composting. After several experimentations the recommended method is as follows:

Fill the waste material into tanks followed by sufficient water to moisten the waste. The surface is then sealed with 25mm thick layer of soil paste, and at every 300mm distance, holes of 50mm diameter are made and sticks are introduced into them for two days and are later removed. This provides the track for air circulation. The tanks can also have holes of 15mm diameter all-round (walls) at 300mm apart to provide cross ventilation. The well-aerated material does not emit any foul smell. After two weeks the earthworms are released on the soil surface. They enter into the organic matter and mix through the crevices left on the surface. The set-up is left without disturbance for six weeks. Water is sprinkled occasionally on the surface during the composting process. The soil pack is then separated easily after two months, as these earthworms do not feed on the soil. The compost along with the earthworms is collected. In place of the mudpack, old jute (gunny) bags can also be used to cover the containers, but the bags themselves will get composted after some time. A crate (600mm x 45mm x 600mm) can hold a population of 1500 adult Eudrilus eugeniae, and 3000 to 5000 Eisenia foetida and Perionyx excavatus. Frequent harvesting of Eudrilus eugeniae is necessary to reduce population pressure and enables continuous growth of earthworm population.
VERMICOMPOSTING USING EXOTIC SPECIES OF EARTHWORMS
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