EVALUATION OF CO-COMPOSTED FAECAL SLUDGE APPLICATION IN AGRICULTURE
Free (open access)
701 - 711
RAMAKRISHNA GIRIJA, NITHIN A. SHETTIGAR, VENKATASWAMY RAMASWAMY RAMAKRISHNA PARAMA, SHAMANNA GAGANA
Water scarcity, increasing cost of inputs and poor soil quality are major reasons for decreasing agricultural productivity in India. It is therefore critical to optimize soil organic matter, which is vital for enhanced soil quality to improve productivity. Considering that some of the organic sources like farmyard manure, crop residues, green manure, etc. are dwindling as well as the negative implications of chemical fertilisers, we need to consider alternative sources. In this context, a study was conducted to evaluate the application of co-composted faecal sludge (FS) as an alternative; and to provide scientific evidence through field experiments about the potential for co-compost application in agriculture. An agricultural trial was conducted for two cropping seasons. The co-composted FS was one of the nutrient sources used in the trial. Nutrient-balanced final co-compost was produced as faecal sludge is rich in nitrogen; municipal wet waste is rich in carbon content. Randomised Block Design method was followed, and the application of five treatments with four replications per treatment was undertaken. Treatments comprised four types of nutrient sources – namely, treated faecal sludge, cocomposted FS (co-compost), farmyard manure, chemical fertilizers and control. The findings of the study showed that the yield obtained from crops grown under co-composted FS was higher than the other four treatments. The parameters for crop growth and development were better for co-compost applied crops. Further, the produce grown under co-composted FS was free from pathogen contamination. The study showcased the potential of co-composted FS as a nutrient source vis-à-vis other sources considered for the trial. The study showed that reusing co-composted FS in agriculture can benefit the farming community by enhancing soil productivity there by increasing crop yield. The study also highlights the need for further research to assess the impact of co-composted FS application on crop nutrient content and weed menace.
co-composted faecal sludge, agriculture, soil productivity, agricultural trial