"The use of organic manure produced from earthworms and dung increases the fertility of the land. Besides, the yield of non-toxic vegetables and fruits is getting better," says Rupali, a resident of an eco-friendly village.
Eco-friendly villages are small, self-sufficient communities that live from and for their natural surroundings. An ecovillage strives to produce the least possible negative impact on the natural environment through intentional physical design and resident behavior choices. Eco-villagers are united by shared ecological, social-economic, and cultural-spiritual values. Concretely, eco-villagers seek alternatives to ecologically destructive electrical, water, transportation, and waste-treatment systems, as well as the larger social systems that mirror and support them. Composting is one of the components of an eco-friendly village.
Rural women of the Kishoreganj sub-district in Nilphamari district are increasingly contributing to the family income by producing low-cost, high-profit earthworm compost manure with the technical assistance of World Vision Bangladesh. This little step increased the family income and the production of non-toxic crops, leading the village to become eco-friendly villages. In the Kishoreganj sub-district, a total of 26 farmers started vermicomposting to establish eco-friendly villages.
"We are supporting ultra-poor families to produce organic fertilizer for non-toxic agriculture production. This initiative has created an alternative income source for ultra-poor families. Subsequently, the family members are getting safe food to enjoy good health.," says Amjad Hossain, Program Officer, World Vision Bangladesh.
Women are playing a significant role in vermicomposting. The increasing use of this fertilizer in cultivating vegetables in the homestead garden and/or crop fields has opened up a horizon for the economic prosperity of these women.
One of the vermicomposting producers, Monowara says, "I am cultivating green chili, cucumber, guard, ash gourd, and Brinjal in my homestead garden. I got high production by using vermicomposting. My family members are consuming chemical-free fresh vegetables. Also, this is the source of my family's alternative income. Neighbors of my community are also becoming interested in it".
Nasima Begum, Sub Assistant, Agriculture Officer, Kisoreganj sub-district, said, "Vermicompost is environment friendly, it is the source of chemical-free food. The price of these vegetables and fruits is higher in the market as because it is non-toxic, there is no use of the chemical. Besides, it is cost-effective for the farmers as it is not only replacing the chemical fertilizers but also the crop production is higher. In addition, lands, where this fertilizer is used, are less susceptible to diseases and pests. Other women in the area are increasingly becoming interested in producing this fertilizer. I am grateful to World Vision to initiate eco-friendly village activities".
In Kisoreganj Area Programme, World Vision is implementing its activities in 28 villages and piloting eco-friendly village activities in four villages. As a result, the village development committees are replicating vermicomposting production. Since 2011, more than 1,000 ultra-poor beneficiary households of this area are continuing compost fertilizer dumping/preserving cow dung and utilizing them in homestead gardens and the crop field.
In 2021, World Vision will be initiating a total of 177 eco-friendly villages in its 48 area programmes by implementing and promoting programmes like tree plantation, biofortified crops, Bondhu Chula (Friendly Srove), compost and biopesticides usage, hygienic latrine, climate adaptive technologies, floating gardens in coastal bed districts, hydroponic fodder cultivation, solar power use, permaculture, etc. to build more socially, culturally, economically, and/or ecologically sustainable communities.