Worms at Work for an Eco-friendly Inle Lake
Based on information received from the Global Community Service representative, and a recent visit by the President of GCSF, it is now estimated that the worm casting (vermiculture) methods of agriculture can be introduced to five villages per year. The vermiculture program includes initial training, preparation of work breeding vats, breeding of sufficient worms (300 per family), application of the resulting fertilizer, and monitoring of crop results.
The GCSF representative at Inle Lake, Daw Hnin Hinin Ohn, estimates that we should be prepared to fund about $4,346 (1,220,000 Ks) per year per village. One of the good things about this project is that the entire amount required to fund the project need not be raised before the benefits of the vermiculture program is realized. Additionally, as the success of the program is realized by the Inle Lake farmers the rate of implementation might be increased.
U Aye Naung, Chief of Naungtaw Laichay village is very pleased with the results of the vermiculture program in his village and is a major participant and supporter of the program. During the recent visit to the lake by Selva, he took her to his home to see the project in action. He explained that the worms exude a liquid that when mixed with water can be used as fertilizer. The worms are kept in a large bucket and the water they exude comes out from a spigot. One liter of liquid is mixed with one liter of water to use as fertilizer. Twenty-eight liters can be used to fertilize one acre. Fertilization must be done three times during the growing of crops. He was so proud to announce to Selva “I have been able to educate two of my children with the profit from this project.” He told her that he makes double the average income from the crops that have been fertilized with worms. He told her that the crops grow to twice their size with this fertilizer.
Reducing the amount of chemical pollution at Inle Lake will reduce the incidence of "Soft bone Disease" it the children of Inle Lake,
It our next report we will attempt to add a map of the Inle Lake area and a list of the villages around the lake – then we, and our donors, will be able to track our progress around the lake
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