Vermicompost : « A group success story »
Bhardeu is a Village Development Community in Lalitpur district, which is 24 kilometers away from Lagankhel, Lalitpur. Sunaulo Vermicompost Group is an organization bringing together 11 women who are producing vermicompost in Bhardeu. Women were provided with a training program on vermi-composting in 2012 and established the organization in 2014. Thereafter they were regularly assisted and supported to flourish the business by FWEAN. Where the women had no idea regarding the earthworms and used to feel disgust while they saw earthworms, the same earthworms have made them micro- entrepreneurs.
Gita Shrestha, a woman of 32, says: “I am encouraged to rear Buffalo, as its manure helps to make vermicompost faster.” She sells 100 kgs of compost per month in an average. The buyers sometimes come to the village for the collection of compost; at other times she takes it to the packed compost in the market. Vermicompost are sold in packages and in bulk. The selling price of ready-made compost ranges from NRS 18 to 25 per kg. And the market price of 1 Kg red earthworms is NRS 3000.
Laxmi Shrestha, aged 36, shares: “It feels like we are reborn. There were times when we had to work for others as laborers to earn money. At present, we make vermicompost, farm vegetables, sell milk and can save in the cooperative. It is hard to believe how we had difficulty in saving NRS 5. We are happy that life has changed for good.” She also expressed that as vermicomposting was a new concept when it was started in the village, many people thought that she had lost her mind. Her family members were not confident if what she was pursuing was good, neither was she. But now, she is praised for what she started. Her family has also realized the importance of the compost. It is amazing to see vermicompost, along with being a source of income is also used in her vegetable farming.
Saraswoti Shrestha, aged 31, a member of education committee in the cooperative says that: “The most important thing of vermicomposting is that it can be done with less investment. We do not have to spend more time in it and the return is more.” She further expresses,: “We are happy that we learned about making vermicompost, it is the key to our income, confidence and a better future.”