FAO :

Composting is the natural process of 'rotting' or decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. Raw organic materials such as crop residues, animal wastes, food garbage, some municipal wastes and suitable industrial wastes, enhance their suitability for application to the soil as a fertilizing resource, after having undergone composting.

Compost is a rich source of organic matter. Soil organic matter plays an important role in sustaining soil fertility, and hence in sustainable agricultural production. In addition to being a source of plant nutrient, it improves the physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil. As a result of these improvements, the soil: (i) becomes more resistant to stresses such as drought, diseases and toxicity; (ii) helps the crop in improved uptake of plant nutrients; and (iii) possesses an active nutrient cycling capacity because of vigorous microbial activity. These advantages manifest themselves in reduced cropping risks, higher yields and lower outlays on inorganic fertilizers for farmers.



  1. Trench beds are 1m wide and 2m long. They are dug to 1m deep then packed with dry grass/leaves, compost, manure and soil. Used in food-gardens. They make (create) highly fertile soils which can absorb and store water. Provide an immediately usable planting bed even on shallow or poor soils. Often...
  2. 2002-01-01 A composting toilet is any system that converts human waste into compost through the natural breakdown of organic matter. The photo above shows a composting toilet from the late 1800’s. Composting toilets provide a sanitary method to recycle human waste while conserving water and protecting the...
  3. This technology describes a combination of good practices for soil and water conservation that were introduced to coffee farmers in the central cattle corridor of Uganda, with aim to enhance their resilience to dry spells, pests and diseases, as part of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA)...
  4. Healthy soil is teaming with life in the form of billions of microscopic soil organisms. A teaspoon of healthy soil can contain more soil microorganisms than there are people on earth. The soil microorganisms found in healthy, or “living soil,” have important functions including converting...
  5. The Johnson-Su Bioreactor method of creating compost is quite different from other composting methods in several respects. The most common commercial windrow composting processes are usually designed and operated for speed and maximum product flow. Unfortunately, this focus does not allow the...
  6. This 4 part video by former ECHO staff member, Larry Yarger, was produced in 2010. This is Part 1 Part 2 -https://youtu.be/Gj7rPHrxu1M Part 3 -https://youtu.be/UHcnOrY9Ww8 Part 4 -https://youtu.be/InUnYFrVNMo
  7. Blatticomposting is a new technique that uses cockroaches to convert human food wastes into compost. Of the 4000 or so species of cockroaches, less than 15 are pests of human dwellings. These species give cockroaches overall a bad reputation; all other species of cockroach are harmless, living...
  8. 2015-06-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #24 Tricho-compost is the material that results when spores of a beneficial fungus, Trichoderma sp. are used in the composting process. Trichoderma sp. are natural competitors against a wide range of harmful fungi; when it is added to compost, the latter can...
  9. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 37. One of the great challenges of sustainable agriculture is the sourcing of adequate and affordable organic (carbon based) resources that can be used on-farm for the production of food and feed. Utilizing composts, manures, mulches, and other organic inputs...
  10. 2005-01-20 Composting is Fundamental #4. Compost will build up organic matter and create humus for your soil. The finished product of decomposition is called compost. Composting is a controlled process in which we capture a high percentage of nutrients from our crop residue and return it back to the soil in...
  11. Compost can be used to improve the quality of your soil. You can use plant materials, animal manure and kitchen scraps to create compost. Compost will add nutrients and organic matter to your soil. This animation explains the process of creating and storing compost. Scientific Animations Without...
  12. Vegetable crops thrive in healthy soil. Farmers can improve the quality of their soil and provide nutrients for their plants by making and adding compost to their fields or planting beds. In this video produced by the World Vegetable Center for the VINESA project, researcherEmanuel Pallangyo...
  13. AccessAgriculture Training Video Small scale farmers can struggle to keep their soil healthy, and often resort to buying fertilisers to improve their yield, but with a bit of extra work to make compost, yield can be increased naturally and the soil improved year by year. To turn your rice straw...
  14. This section looks at the way in which soil quality can be maintained and improved through a number of techniques including the use of fertilizer, manure and compost.
  15. 2017-08-01 The decline or even loss of soil fertility is the major challenge faced by more and more farmers around the world in general and especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. Many causes, mainly anthropogenic, are at the origin of this situation. Despite the massive use of chemical fertilizers through...
  16. 2017-10-03 There are many appropriate building technologies available. How environmentally friendly are they? Earthquake resistant? Typhoon resistant? How can we introduce new materials to a traditional construction culture? Why would we want to produce our own materials? How can we make production...
  17. 2011-12-01 Information from ECHO Network member Daryl Edwards from his work in Zimbabwe suggested that using quality compost containing 10% cow manure results in a maize harvest similar to that obtained with 100% cow manure. This could be significant to farmers who have small farm sizes and limited...
  18. 2015-03-24 The Habari Maalum Tree Nursery, outside of Arusha, Tanzania, provides over 200,000 tree seedlings per year to the surrounding villages. Until recently, HM has relied upon forest soil collected from the Olmotonyi Forest on the lower slopes of Mt Meruto replenish their nursery. Increasingly, there...
  19. Composting is an attractive proposition for turning on-farm organic waste materials into a farm resource. However, farmers in many parts of the world, and especially in developing countries, are unable to make the best use of the composting opportunities available to them. This is because they...
  20. Compost is well known to be a good organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is a product derived from the decomposition of organic matter or agricultural wastes. In normal circumstances, it takes about four to five months to get compost from the composting process. However, a new technique of...
  21. ABSTRACT - Journal of Compost Science and Utilization, 2017 The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of application of different organic fertilizers (general organic fertilizer, GOF; biogas residue, BR; refined organic fertilizer, ROF) as compared to no fertilizer on the composition of...
  22. ABSTRACT - Journal of Composting Science and Utilization, 2017 Tropical acid soils are highly weathered as they exist under tropical environment with high rainfall and temperature throughout the year, which affects nitrogen availability. Soil organic nitrogen is important in estimating soil...
  23. Coffee grounds are a great addition to the garden and compost pile. Help to recycle this great organic resource and reduce the amount of organics going to the landfill! Some information about coffee grounds: Coffee grounds are about 2% nitrogen by volume. Grounds are not acidic; the acid in...
  24. ABSTRACT, FFTC In Japan charcoal has been used for a long time as environmental improver, soil improver in a firm, water purification material and odor adsorbent. It was reported that biochar has proliferation effect of symbiosis microorganisms such as root nodule bacteria and mycorrhiza in farm...
  25. Sheet composting is an ancient technique that has many practical applications today. Also referred to as lasagna composting or sheet mulching, sheet composting is a cold composting method that has been used by people around the world for generations. It is an excellent way to convert grass to...
  26. 2019-02-13 Session: The productivity of garden land depends on soil fertility, water and climate. Compost is an excellent resource to increase water holding capacity in the first place and to provide nutrients to the soil. Recent trends have introduced other techniques and key words for organic farming...
  27. The circular economy offers an unparalleled opportunity. It’s good for the economy, good for society and good for the planet. Supporting the transition would save lives and create employment, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and reducing the tension between lifting...
  28. 2013-06-18 Everything you need to know to turn your garden and kitchen scraps into "black gold" Farmers and horticulturists have long understood the benefits of compost to their soil and plants. Compost provides important nutrients; offers habitat for beneficial fungi, earthworms, and other creatures; and...
  29. Abstract, Journal of the NACAA, 2014 The sustainability and profitability of many agricultural systems can be enhanced through the utilization of inoculum of arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungi. Inocula are commercially available, but inoculum can also be produced on-farm in mixtures of compost and...
  30. Hugelkultur, pronounced Hoo-gul-culture, means hill culture or hill mound. Instead of putting branches, leaves and grass clippings in bags by the curbside for the bin men... build a hugel bed. Simply mound logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper,...
  31. Composting is nature’s way to recycle. Composting happens. It’s simply the slow, natural decomposition of organics. Composting at home is the controlled and faster decomposition of organics such as yard trimmings and food waste that you and your family generate. Microorganisms break down this...
  32. In modern olive mills, the most common method for extracting olive oil from the olive paste is two-phase decanter. Because the two-phase extraction system is less complicated, consumes less energy and yields higher quality olive oil, there is approximately 90% olive mills in Spain using this...

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