Our Staff Reporter

islamabad

Senior agricultural scientists here on Wednesday stressed the need for promoting vermin compost production in the country to enhance organic agriculture produce, reduce health hazards besides earning foreign exchange by exporting the commodity.

They were speaking at a function organised in the honour of senior scientists of Association of Former PARC Scientists (AFPS) here. The function was chaired by founder Chairman PARC, Dr. Amir Muhammad whereas Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad and other scientists of the organisation were also present on the occasion. In his detailed presentation, senior scientist, Abdul Aziz Khan said that the neighbouring countries including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were exporting vermin compost and have been earning foreign exchange. “We in Pakistan have great potential to produce vermin compost not only to cater to the local needs but also for export purposes,” he remarked. He stressed the need for encouraging vermin compost production at commercial level which could prove to be a viable and profitable business with very low inputs.

Aziz Khan was of the view that lack of earthworm has created many health hazards besides causing damage to the soil fertility, so the promotion of this culture would benefit the country in many ways. He said that the worms have been proved to be helpful in curing many diseases including bladder stones, jaundice, rheumatism, toothaches, measles, fever, impotency and even heart problems. He however deplored that very little research has been done in this area, so there is need to promote research activities in this regard to promote healthy food and reduce health risks. He said that Karachi was the ideal place to start the vermin compost production adding that dung of cows and buffalo as well as droppings of sheep could be utilised for this purpose. Appreciating the idea, Dr Amir Muhammad said that the scientists should work on the pilot project to explore the potential and conduct further research in this line.

Speaking on the occasion, PARC Chairman, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said that his organisation was already working on the promotion of the vermin culture and was working on a project in its National Agricultural Research Center (NARC). Earlier, talking about the soya bean production, the chairman said that PARC was working on many projects to promote production of soya bean oil in the country to reduce dependence on imports.  

He said that for the value addition of the project, machinery would be imported and installed at the place where there is much soybean cultivated areas.