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Keywords:

  • coffee pulp;
  • eudrilus eugeniae;
  • microbial population;
  • nutrients;
  • perionyx ceylanesis;
  • vermicomposting

Abstract

Summary: Coffee pulp is the main solid residue from the wet processing of coffee berries. Recent stringent measures by Pollution Control authorities, made it mandatory to treat all the solid and liquid waste emanating from the coffee farms. A study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of an exotic (Eudrilus eugeniae) and a native earthworm (Perionyx ceylanesis) from coffee farm for decomposition of coffee pulp into valuable vermicompost. Exotic earthworms were found to degrade the coffee pulp faster (112 days) as compared to the native worms (165 days) and the vermicomposting efficiency (77.9%) and vermicompost yield (389 kg) were found to significantly higher with native worms. The multiplication rate of earthworms (280%) and worm yield (3.78 kg) recorded significantly higher with the exotic earthworms. The percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium in vermicompost was found to increase while C:N ratio, pH and total organic carbon declined as a function of the vermicomposting. Vermicompost and vermicasts from native earthworms recorded significantly higher functional microbial group's population as compared to the exotic worms. The study reveals that coffee pulp can be very well used as substrate for vermicomposting using exotic (Eudrilus eugeniae) and native earthworm (Perionyx ceylanesis).