TeleSupport India Repository

Solution Composting using NADEP for rapid recycling of agro-wastes
Country India
Last update: 08/12/2006
Summary (The Name NADEP is derived from the name of the originator of this method of composting called, N.A.D Panduri Pandey.)

A number of agricultural wastes are available in farmland. But farmers in many areas still use conventional ways of pit composting, which takes almost a year for decomposing agro-wastes. At the same time there is plea from organic farmers that sufficient quantities of organic manures are not available locally. NADEP composting is an easy way to recycle agricultural wastes rapidly to produce good quality manure. The agricultural wastes and other organic wastes available on-farm can easily be converted into compost quickly using NADEP method.
forum discussion;board=10.0 
Contributed by person details Ms. Omana Thakarprambil (RASTA, TeleSupport India)
Challenge/Issue The use of unscientific agricultural practices for years has increased the incidence of many crop diseases and resulted in loss of soil fertility. Moreover the abundance of micro flora and fauna has been drastically reduced from the agricultural lands. Reviving soil fertility is of utmost concern for agricultural sustainability. Farmers like to apply organic inputs but lack of proper composting methods prevents them from doing so
Method To watch a video of the method see the 'Publications' tab


The construction of a permanent compost tank with bricks is the most suitable method for continuous composting.

The method proposed here is an aerobic decomposition process.

A 3 m long, 1.5 m wide, 1m deep tank can be constructed near to a place where the raw materials are easily available.

The sidewalls of the tank are built with holes, to enable air circulation into the tank.

The tank is best constructed in the shade, away from water logged areas and on well-flattened ground.

Materials required for Construction:

1. 2000 good bricks
2. 4 sack of cement
3. 40 cubic feet stones (boulders)
4. 35 cubic feet sand.
5. 6 cubic feet small boulders

How to construction the tank

1) For the construction of tank lay foundations 30cm wide and 30cm deep.

2) The space for laying the foundation should be sprinkled well with water.

3) Stones can be used for the construction of the base, and if required two inch concrete should be laid on top of it. The mortar should be in 1:5 ratio for the construction of the side wall. The gap between the bricks should be closed with cement mortar in order to stop the leakage of water through it.

4) A plastic sheet can be spread at the bottom of the tank since there will be leakage of the fluids into the soil at the time of mixing of the organic waste and water (during the time of filling the compost tank). The surface should be leveled and then the sheet has to be spread. Care should be taken while the compost is taken out to see that, the plastic is not damaged.

5) Each of the four walls should be constructed with
five holes each of size 10 cm x 10cm in them to allow air circulation

6) The inside walls of the tank should be plastered with cement mortar in the ratio of 1:5.

7) After the construction of the tank any remaining loose pieces of cement should be carefully removed.

Materials for compost making

The weight of the organic waste that is put into the tank is more important than its volume.

1. Organic wastes half dried or fully dried. – 1500kg
2. Cow dung (wet dung is most suitable) - 240kg
3. Surface soil - 240kg
4. Oil cake - 12kg
5. Rock phosphate – 50kg
6. Ash – 50kg
7. Water –1200 liters

Filling the tank

1) The materials required for composting should be brought and kept near to the tank in advance.

2) Before the tank is filled, place three plantain stems upside down, two feet apart in the middle of the tank.

3) The filling of the tank starts with sprinkling cow dung on the inner side of the tank.

4) Put a layer of the agricultural waste, 15cm deep, in the bottom of the tank and level it.

5) Prepare a mixture of 20kg cow dung, 1kg wet oil cake and 100 liters of water. Pour this mixture uniformly over the agricultural waste in the tank.

6) Now place a layer of 20 kg top soil on the waste. Then sprinkle 4 kg each of Rock phosphate and ash one by one on top of it. (Rock phosphate and ash need not be a mixture). With this, the first layer of compost is over.

7) Repeat the procedure above to give as many as eleven more layers. Over stamping should be avoided as this will delay the decaying process.

8) The edge of the plantain stem that emerges above the surface of the plastered layer can be cut and removed. Cow dung and soil should be mixed and plastered over the completed compost tank.

9) Cover the compost tank with a polythene sheet to protect against rain

10) Moisture level should be checked once in 15 days and add sufficient water through the holes on top to maintain the moisture level

11) To know the appropriate moisture level, insert a long pole through the side holes and take it back. If the pole is just wet, it is sufficiently moist. If not, add water.

12) The compost will be ready in 90 to 120 days.
Lessons learned 1) In this method, the complete decay of the organic wastes is achieved.

2) NADEP compost is an effective method of rapid decomposing agricultural wastes. The compost is a good organic input for farming.

3) An increase in the yield of rubber was found when the compost was used and for paddy, there was a drastic change in the size of the grains and thus a yield increase of 5 to 10%.

4) Ginger affected with diseases when applied with the compost showed a decrease in the incidence of diseased condition in the following years.

5) At least four people’s labor will be required for filling the tank.

6) A brick tank of 5m3 will be enough for the supply of organic manures to one acre of land. The brick tank above has a volume of 4.5m3

7) The addition of water quantity depends on the climate. During summer and when dried substances are added more water is required

8) Total cost of the construction could be Rs.3000 (at 2006 prices)
List Keywords
1.1 Socio- economic Sector (OECD) 311 Agriculture
1.2 Institutional dimension Social- livelihood systems/ Gender
1.3 Natural dimension Land/Soils
1.4 Target group(s) 1. Local communities
3. Intermediary organisations
4. Research community
2.1 Production System 3. Crop- Livestock system
Rainfed system
2. Mixed cropping system
2.2 Production Chain 1. Input Supply & Use
2.3 Commodity group Non-food agricultural products
Food crops
2.4 Food Crops Carrot (Daucus)
Rice (Oryza)
Cowpea et al. (Vigna)
Citrus (Citrus)
Yams (Dioscorea)
Sorghum (Sorghum)
Coconut (Cocos)
Finger Millet (Eleusine)
Wheat (Triticum et al.)
2.5a Agro-Ecology: Thermal zone 1: Tropical
2.5b Agro-ecology: Altitude zone Lowlands
2.5c Agro-Ecology: Moisture zone 2. Sub-humid
3. Humid
3.1 Natural Resource Mgmt. Community-based NRM
3.2 Pollution-Environmental Protection 3. Ecosystems
7. Prevention & recycling
5. Wastes
Telesupport Themes Soil fertility
Stage Country Region Location
Concept India Karnataka
Development India Kerala Wayanad. Calicut
Apply India Kerala wayanad. Kottayam. Kannur, Calicut
Role Person name
Describer person details Mr. Danesh Kumar
Describer person details Mr. C.K Vishnudas
Function Activity
Upscaling project details Biovillage
Type Title Function Download
Presentation (video, TV, radio, interview) output details NADEP Composting (Video English) ' How to' manual 6.527kb
Relation Title
Extension of practice details Composting of Areca husk
Average rating