Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2750

Full Length Research Paper

Potential of neem leaf-empty fruit bunch-based vermicompost as biofertiliser-cum-biopesticide: Chemical properties, humic acid content and enzymes (protease and phosphatase) activity in vermicompost (Part I)

Loh Khye Er1, Nor Azwady Abd. Aziz1*, Kok Ho Yin1, Muskhazli Mustafa1, Intan Safinar Ismail2 and Nur Ain Izzati Mohd Zainudin1
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. 2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 October 2012
  •  Published: 31 October 2012

Abstract

The palm oil industry generates empty fruit bunch (EFB) in large quantities, which need to be optimally exploited to obtain maximum benefits from their uses. Vermicomposting of EFB with neem leaves is of great interest, as the end product might function as biofertiliser as well as biopesticide. Therefore, vermicomposting of different ratios of EFB and neem leaves using Eudrilus eugeniae as a composting agent was conducted. The results showed that the vermicompost produced was lower in pH, total organic carbon and the C/N ratio, but higher in humic acid content compared to the earthworm free control. The addition of neem leaves as a mixture of EFB-based vermicompost contributed to the enrichment in some important plant nutrients, such as total and available N, P, K and Ca. Results suggested that the addition of 10% neem leaves would enhance the  earthworm biomass as well as nutrient contents, protease and phosphatase activity in vermicompost.

 

Key words: Vermicomposting, empty fruit bunch, neem leaf, chemical properties, enzyme activity.