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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Chennai Corporation sells compost manure at Marina

The economy in Zanzibar is predominantly based on agriculture and allied activities.  To boost natural farming, compost is imported in Zanzibar. However, the autonomous island has enormous composting potential as 86 percent of the waste is organic in nature and the awareness of composting is still in its nascent phase. In order to push for composting and regulate the flow of quality compost, the need of the hour is to develop compost standards and marketing guidelines in Zanzibar.

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost). Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used, for example, in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, urban agriculture and organic farming. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover (see compost uses). At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter (also called green waste), such as leaves, grass, and food scraps, and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of months.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever ~ and one such is ‘Marina beach’ known for its  pristine beautiful sandy shores - that runs from Fort St George to Besant Nagar. This beach has a long history.  This was conceived in 1884 and christened by Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant-Duff, the then governor of Madras – the beautiful beach  is famed for the  ambience and rich eco system though it  stands a lot polluted now.   On the road side, many stone statues, some of them installed during the Tamil World Conference adorn the area.  There are famous landmarks like Vivekanandar Illam, Presidency College, PWD building, University and more.

Early morning the famous Marina beach offers intriguing things.  There are young, old, fast, slow, and varied people indulging in chit-chatting, eating and drinking the various health drinks ! that are sold on pavements.  You can see people walking, fast-walking, jogging, sprinting, skipping, doing physical exercises, yoga, laughing out loud – more – all law unto themselves – thinking and spreading that these are the passport to good health.  

For every visitor, Marina beach offers cool breeze and a serene atmosphere. For some of those who are middle aged, it brings memories of beach cricket. You can hear the sea, the sound of waves  and nearer – the  waves jumping and touching the shore and then submitting themselves to the shore but trying to comeback to conquer again ! would be very interesting sight  – One  can see monstrous  ships anchored in the middle of sea, some fishing boats and Sun coming out as a red ball from the Sea – all great sights to behold.  To those given to enjoying Nature, the morning at Marina  provides innumerable things including  morning birds,  thousands of pigeons, dogs – stray, and owned – local and foreign breeds of various sizes; posh cars; bi-cycles; vast expanse of sand and different hues of people..  yet, I was surprised to see this small stall, put up by Corporation of Madras.

Mushrooms are big business. More than 1 million tonnes are grown in the European Union each year, producing a healthy, low-fat, high protein food that’s also rich in minerals and vitamins. But there is a downside. Every tonne of mushrooms generates three tonnes of compost – a mixture of chicken litter, straw, gypsum and peat. Getting rid of the compost has become a major logistic and economic challenge for the growers, one that is now the focus of a European research project - BioRescue. It can cost up to 50 euros per tonne to dispose of. The aim of the scientists is to develop a sustainable bio-refinery to transform the organic waste into useful products.

Back to that stall in Marina beach -  it is compost manure, prepared and sold by the Corporation of Chennai.  In a move to find new customers for the manure it produces from composting wet waste collected every day, the Greater Chennai Corporation has set up manure shops at major shopping malls in the metropolis and at popular places including the marina beach.  “Visitors to these malls can buy one kg of organic manure for Rs 20 and an initiative has been taken to increase the usage of organic manure in gardening,” the official said.

In September, the civic body had announced that it would sell organic manure produced using bio-degradable waste to the public. As on Sept 18, the civic body had a huge stock of around 190 tonnes of organic manure in hand.  It was announced that residents can also contact or send WhatsApp message to 9445194802 and the civic body would home deliver the manure by collecting money during the delivery.  Apart from selling organic manure to the residents, the civic body supplies manure to the horticulture department. Chennai Corporation also uses organic manure in its parks. National Agro Foundation and Chennai Testing Laboratory Private Limited has issued quality assurance certificates to the manure produced by the Chennai Corporation.

Of the total around 5,000 tonnes of garbage collected every day, the civic body segregates and composts 400 tonnes of organic waste. The civic body has as many as 139 micro composting centres, 537 bamboo pits apart from other composting facilities.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Dec 2019.

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