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Potentiality of vermicomposting in the South Pacific Island countries: A review

Pierre-Louis, R.C., Kader, M.A., Desai, N.M. and John, E.H. (2021) Potentiality of vermicomposting in the South Pacific Island countries: A review. Agriculture, 11 (9). Article 876.

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Incorporation of vermin culture in the composting system produces “vermicompost”, an enriched biofertilizer known to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. It is applied in granular form and/or in liquid solution (vermiwash), and in both open fields and greenhouses. Vermicompost has been shown to contain plant growth hormones, which stimulate seed germination and improve crop yield, the ‘marketability’ of products, plant physiology, and their ability to fight against disease. In recent years, South Pacific island countries (SPICs) have placed an increasing emphasis on the importance of organic agricultural practices as a means of achieving more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. However, vermiculture is not practiced in South Pacific island countries (SPICs) largely due to the lack of awareness of this type of application. We consider the inclusion of vermiculture in this region as a potential means of achieving sustainable organic agricultural practices. This study represents a systematic review in which we collect relevant information on vermicomposting and analyze the applicability of this practice in the SPICs based on these nations’ physical, socioeconomic, and climatic conditions. The tropical climate of the SPICs means that they meet the combined requirements of a large available biomass for composting and the availability of earthworms. Perionyx excavatus and Pontoscolex corethrurus have been identified as potential native earthworm species for vermicomposting under the conditions of the SPICs. Eisenia fetida, a well-known earthworm species, is also effectively adapted to this region and reported to be an efficient species for commercial vermicomposting. However, as a new input into the local production system, there may be unforeseen barriers in the initial stages, as with other advanced technologies, and the introduction of vermiculture as a practice requires a steady effort and adaptive research to achieve success. Further experimental research is required to analyze the productivity and profitability of using the identified native earthworm species for vermiculture using locally available biomass in the SPICs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors
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