Composting plant optimizes soils in the Province of Arauca
A characteristic of the soils of the Province of Arauca is its acidic nature and low nutrient level. This situation has turned into a need which stimulates recovery of popular knowledge for producing soils with better properties.Bogotá D. C., 16 de abril de 2014 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Waste is mixed with manure and urine, and then microorganisms are introduced. The compost bed is covered and turned two times a week.
The UNal-Orinoquía La Granja Experimental Farm engineered and implemented a composting plant which uses waste such as fallen leaves, paper or food with animal waste to create a more effective substrate which will produce improved nutritional content in crops and harvest.
These methods were used by native Indians and peasants, as historically organic waste has always been used to produce new nutrients. Now the institution is working on improving the process.
The idea behind the project is to maximize soil conditions, improving pH levels between 6.27 and 6.40 (the soil in Arauca can be very acid, that is 4.7) to be useful for permanent cropping of products such as bell peppers, tomatoes, nightshades and others.
According to the UNal-Orinoquía professor and part of the agroecological processes of the experimental farm, this composting seeks to be more agile in time as with a little discipline and hard work the soil could be ready in a maximum of six weeks.
At the experimental farm, waste is chopped and mixed with manure and urine and then microorganisms are introduced. The compost bed is covered and remixed two times a week.
This compost produces runoff rich in zinc, cobalt, calcium, magnesium, molybdenum amongst others which are important elements which nourish the soil.
“Thanks to this composting there’s rotation available for planting vegetables. Both organisms and materials can be added to the mixture of fallen leaves with manure and when the plant is ready, we fertilize it. If we turn the compost heap twice a week it will be ready in five or six weeks, and if we speed up the process, everything could be ready in fifteen days,” said professor Suárez.
Using the soil obtained by using waste, researchers have successfully maintained yucca, badea, passion fruit, two varieties of sugarcane, corn and hay crops to feed animals around the farm.
Furthermore there are orchards where the soil produced by composting is placed and adding an irrigation system they have successfully planted lulo, tomato, bell peppers, aloe and several vegetables and fruits.
The project developed at UNal-Orinoquía has been transferred to school children. In this case specifically, to students of the Centro de Desarrollo Rural de Saravena (Arauca) according to an agreement with Ecopetrol and participation of the Wúa Indigenous community.(Por: Fin/DSGM/AC