HA NOI — Viet Nam should take advantage of agricultural byproducts to produce organic fertilisers since raw materials are in short supply, according Cao Viet Hung, from the agricultural ministry's Crop Production Department.
Viet Nam would need 13 million tonnes of organic fertilisers for its 15.26 million ha of agricultural areas, heard a conference held by the Institute of Agricultural Environment in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
Statistics provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that over 150 companies in the country produced over 500,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser per year, but most were small with a capacity of just 500 to 2,000 tonnes per year which could not satisfy national demand.
Furthermore, supplies of mud coal - the main source of fertiliser products - had decreased in both quantity and quality, according to Hung,
Hung said "mud coal just contains 12 to 15 per cent of organic manure (OM) but under MARD standards, the minimum OM content for organic fertiliser is from 15 per cent."
"In fact, 25 to 35 per cent of organic fertilisers are substandard," Hung explained.
Using agricultural by-products to produce organic fertilisers will help reduce green house gas emissions from burning rice-roots, he added.
Most farmers process agricultural residues using traditional methods including composting, mushroom cultivation and burning.
"Of which, the last one has become popular but it does harm to the environment," Hung said.
Reusing livestock waste to produce bio-organic fertiliser also helps protect the environment and improve soil fertility, increasing crop yields, according to Luong Huu Thanh from the same institute.
Thanh said that in many localities, farmers often used livestock waste as biogas, but allowed it to be washed into the drainage system and down into lakes and ponds, causing environmental pollution. Farmers should use livestock residues to produce organic fertiliser as well as raw materials for foods for aquaculture and biogas, providing it is disposed of carefully.
Local representatives urged the government and ministry to allocate financial support to process straw as well as agricultural byproducts after harvesting, and apply technological application. — VNS