MHC Donates a MPV to Literacy Center in Sabah
February 7, 2010
Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2010
MHC Medical Network Bags Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2010 – Rotary ASME
September 3, 2010
Vermi-Composting for Filipino Farmers

Earthworms love to eat decomposing vegetation – grass, leaves, scraps of vegetables, banana trunks – and then pass out worm-casts (another word for worm-shit). In other words, earthworms can convert piles of unwanted vegetation into useful organic fertilizer. This process is called vermi-composting.

In agricultural societies, people are surrounded by vegetation (grass, bushes, banana-trees) that just keep growing. To prevent a jungle from developing, this vegetation needs to be constantly cut. Usually this is left in piles to decompose slowly by the natural process of decomposition. However, this “junk” can be a source of income for the poor through the help of earthworms.

Goducate has been experimenting with vermi-composting for the past year in the province of Laguna, Philippines (Laguna is just south of Manila). After a year of experimenting we are convinced that vermi-composting is a simple but effective way to supplement the incomes of the poor. The initial four recipients of African night-crawlers (given by Goducate) who followed our simple operating procedures all successfully increased their incomes significantly and managed to produce more worms to pass on to other recipients. Today, we have a mini “multi-level” community scheme is the result of the initial donors passing on their excess worms to the next generation of donors.

There are several benefits of using vermi-composting. Firstly, it is suitable for agricultural communities – and most poor Asians live in such communities. Secondly, it requires little capital – primarily just the starter bag of African night-crawlers. Thirdly, it is fairly fool-proof. The worms are hardy and its only natural enemies are birds and frogs. Fourthly, there is a ready market for the organic fertilizer.

MHC Asia donated $10,000 to Goducate on 24 February 2010 to start a model-farm. This 15000 sq ft plot of land will serve as the factory to produce more worms for distribution and also as a “show room” to teach community leaders the finer points of vermi-composting.

Hopefully, this farm will be a catalyst to help poor Asians to help themselves – starting with vermi-composting and moving on to other methods of self-help projects.