|Bapubheti is a small village under Bihaguri development block in Sonitpur district of Assam inhabited mostly by Assamese
Nepali community. The village is located almost 25 KM away from district headquarter Tezpur. Farming is the means of livelihood for majority of the villagers.
Winter paddy, toria, summer and winter vegetables, banana, arecanut, coconut are the major crops grown by the villagers. The size of land holding is less than
one ha for 80 percent of the farm family. Traditionally, the villagers are cow lover and every household has 3 to 4 milch cattle mostly of deshi breed improvised
through artificial insemination. The villagers do not rear other animal components like poultry and piggery as per their social customs.
KVK, Sonitpur, conducted a three days off campus training on vermicomposting during 2012 in the village. A group of 25 youths participated in the training most of them were school dropouts. As a part of the training the team visited KVK, Sonitpur and observed the different organic input production demonstration units of KVK. One week after completion of the training programme, two trainees namely Mr. Nomul sarmah (29) and Mr. Chandan Timsina (31) visited KVK, Sonitpur with a determination to construct vermicompost units at their household. They spent a day at KVK to fine tune their knowledge on vemicomposting acquired during the training. They were given few numbers of earthworm ( Eisonea foteida) free of cost from KVK to practice vermicomposting at home in a small scale. Mr. Chandan Timsina was the first youth who constructed a concrete tank in the village and started commercial production of vermicompost in 2013. Following the footprints of Mr. Timsina, Mr. Nomul Sarmah constructed a concrete tank and started commercial production of vermicompost in a large scale. During 2014, Mr. Sarmah produced and marketed 120 quintals of vermicompost in the local markets. Initially, his major buyers were local tea states and small tea growers. In a significant development, during 2014, Mr. Sarmah and Mr. Timsina sold majority of their produce to local farmers. Both the entrepreneurs kept their selling price low (Rs.6.00/Kg) with an intention to popularize use of vermicompost among the common farmers. During 2014, farmers of Bapubheti and adjoining villages organically grown 25 ha paddy, 11 ha toria and 20 ha water melon by using vermicompost from these two units. Though, Mr. Nomul Sarmah, is the largest producer of vermicompost in the locality, other units owned by Mr. Bhimbhadur Thapa (40), Mr. Hem Goutom (38), Mr. Kamal Sarmah (42), Mr. Bikash Timsina (29) produced sizable quintiles of vermicompost in the past 2/3 years. All these producers produced vermicompost for their own use and also contribute to Mr. Nomul Sarmah’s supply chain. In another significant development, three more commercial units are under construction in the locality.
The locality is surrounded by natural water bodies with abundant quantities of water hyacinth. Moreover, banana cultivation is a major farming activity in the locality. Besides, large quantities of cowdung are available in the villages. These provide a favorable environment for growth of vermicompost units in the locality. Major buyers like Arun Tea Estate, Sonabeel tea Estates , Small Tea Growers are now dependent on these vermicompost units maintained by rural youths trained up by KVK, Sonitpur. The training completion certificates and chemical analysis report provided by the KVK, Sonitpur convinced the corporate buyers on authenticity and quality of the produce. Since the producers deliberately kept their selling price low, the B: C ratio found in these units was 2.81. Mr. Nomul sarmah alone set a target of production of around 200 quintols of vermicompost in 2015 and estimated production in the village is around 500 quintol in 2015.