THE use of organic waste to build resilience in crop production and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is an expanding feature of NAREI’s work. Food, paper, yard trimmings, pen-manure, paddy shell, and other organic waste is utilised create amendments for improved soil health. These materials would have been burnt. Others would have been discarded in landfills, not decomposed owing to a lack of oxygen but degrade to produce methane which is a GHG with a Global warming potential 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. NAREI’s contribution to soil health under this thematic area includes:
Aerobic composting (Thermophilic)
NAREI has partnered with several local and international institutions namely Partners of America Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to promote the use of waste by the process of composting. In NAREI’s Thermophilic composting process Brewers waste produced by beverage manufacturing companies and food scraps discarded by Guyana School of Agriculture are the principal sources of input material utilised for this process. Other inputs include chicken litter, cow manure, grass, coconut core and paddy hull. Thermophilic compost is a hygienic humus-rich product that is used as a soil conditioner and organic fertilizer. Its use improves soil texture, increase carbon sequestration in soils, and reduces the release of Green House Gasses (GHG) especially methane.
Vermicomposting is the practice of using worms to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich soil enhancer. Using worms instead of a compost pile ensures faster composting. The organic material pass through the worm’s digestive system and the enzymes found makes for a nutrient-rich content which the plants can easily access. The California red worm and pen-manure are the principal inputs for this process.
NAREI has promoted vermicompost as an alternative method of waste management. The vermicompost produced at NAREI is used as a key component in the production of a seedling potting mixture developed and sold at NAREI. This product is sold under the brand name of SSOWMIX and is available in commercially quantities at the institute to farmers.