A new earthworm species has been developed by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) that can get rid of the wild aquatic plant Jal Kumbhi (Pistia stratiotes) growing on the banks of river Brahmaputra. The plant is a big menace in the region since it spreads very fast and impairs the movement of fishermen besides causing widespread pollution. IVRI has recently signed a MOU with IIT Guwahati to free the Brahmaputra basin of the plant’s menace.
This new earthworm, Jai Gopal (Perionyx ceylanesis), has the ability to eat wild vegetation very fast and convert it into organic fertilizer that is suitable for use in farming. It can also withstand different temperature variations ranging from 0 degrees celsius to 43 degrees.
The organic fertilizers produced after the consumption of Jal Kumbhi by the earthworm would be used by tea garden owners in Assam valley to boost the quality of their products and make it more organic.
The earthworm would also benefit the sugarcane industry to find ways for effective disposal of waste generated by sugar mills. Waste products rich in phosphorous, calcium, potassium and other minerals would soon be transformed into organic fertilizers once they become fodder for the earthworm.
[Credit – Times of India]