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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Making in-house manure: Coir Pith

Thanks to a coir pith factory adjacent to our farm, we were able to procure 78 tractor loads of unprocessed coir pith waste. We are planning on decomposing it in the next couple of months so that we have good quality, home-grown manure for this years planting season.

Berg Top Coir factory, Sivagangai, a subsidiary of a dutch company.

Everything is for grabs!

The first tractor gets loaded up by a JCB...

...while others wait for their turn.

We employed a total of 10 tractors and a JCB. Our farm is approx 6 Km away from factory and 10 tractors ensured continuous loading of coir pith.

JCB compacting the material.

Covering up the load (we do not like to 'waste' waste )

Once the goods were on the farm, it was time to process it. First, we made a sieve to filter out undesirable items like plastics etc..

Karan Singh and Sher Singh - our coir pith sieve architects..

15 ft by 10 ft beds were made - 15 ft was divided into 5 sections. The height of bed was maintained at 6 inches. In other words, 15 cubic ft = 100 Kg of coir pith waste.

Sieving in process..

First bed complete..

..and many more. We re-used the pit marking pegs to divide the bed into 5 sections.

After dividing the bed into 5 sections, the 3rd section was evened out and a layer of pleurotus sajor was put on it for rapid decomposition. We got 300 gm packet (enough for a 100 Kg layer) from TNAU Madurai. I assume most Agri colleges should be able to supply it.

Mixing pleurotus sajor with water so that it does not fly off (it was a windy evening)

Solution was poured onto the coir layer and then abundantly watered.

Then another layer of coir pith was put on top of pleurotus sajor layer.

A layer of Urea (1 Kg for 100 Kg of coir) was placed on top of second coir layer.

We continued doing this 2 more times. Overall, 600 gm of pleurotus sajor and 2 Kg of Urea was used for a total of 500 Kg of coir waste.

..and then it was covered with palm leaves to reduce moisture loss.

...and marked it with the date. We shall check on it after 2 months. In the meanwhile, we will continue watering it to enhance the decomposition process.

I know this is a long post, but would like to summarize the process once more.

1. Make 15 ft by 10 ft by 0.5 ft bed. 10 ft by 3 ft by 0.5 ft bed should be approx 100 Kg
2. On a layer of 100 Kg sieved coir, put 300 gm of pleurotus sajor. Water it
3. Place another 100 Kg of sieved coir. Water it.
4. Put 1 Kg of urea and evening spread it. Water it.
5. Repeat step 3.
6. Repeat step 2.
7. Repeat step 3.
8. Repeat step 4.
9. Repeat 3. So totally, you should have 5 coir layers and 2 layers of pleurotus sajor and urea each.
10. Compact the mount with a spade or any other flat implement.
11. Cover it water coconut or palm leaves for rapid decomposition and to contain moisture loss.
12. In 2 months, you should be able to get coffee colored compost. Ensure continuous watering during the 2 months.

Material - FREE.

Transportation - Rs 30,000 for 78 loads and a JCB. Rough calculations indicate that we may have procured 100 tons of coir waste i.e. Rs 0.30/Kg

Inputs - Urea: 2Kg (Rs 6/Kg)
          - Pleurotus sajor: 600 gm (Rs 40)

For a bed of 500Kg (5 layers of coir), total input expenses is Rs 52 i.e. Rs 0.10/Kg.

Total cost of production - Rs 0.40/Kg


  1. It is informative. Check also http://www.apexmatch.com/coir-products.htm#cr1

  2. How can I get in touch with you?

    You have been doing some commendable work and show casing it is just some real hard core information.

    Must say you are doing a great job. Keep it up.

    Aakash Parikh (aakashparikh@hotmail.com)

  3. Thanks Aakash! You can mail me at saverafarms@gmail.com

  4. Good work! Keep posting!

  5. Really an amazing post to read! By looking at this post, We came to know if we recycle the waste using a creative way, then we can do a lot of things. Keep on sharing!