09 June 1998
Money for farmers in worms
VERMITECH, of Brecon, Wales, is designing controlled worm units in which sewage can be quickly transformed into compost.
They have found that Dendrabaena, a worm that is native of California, can chew its way through a tonne or organic household rubbish in a single day and turn it into compost.
VermiTech has been encouraging farmers to go into vermiculture. Now some farms have worm beds of 2,000m2 which will eventually be capable of producing up to 100kg of worms per week. VermiTech pays about £10/kg for the worms, enabling farmers to earn extra money.
Worm-breeding, or vermiculture, is a relatively low technology businesses, familiar to generations of farmers and gardeners.
However the use of insecticides and fertilisers has drastically reduced the lands worm population. But the Dendrabaena is a prolific breeder.
- Financial Times 09/06/98 page 13