Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Organic fertilizer made from plant waste could help farmers boost production by 13.5 percent more than if they use commercially available organic fertilizers, a Council of Agriculture official said Tuesday.
The Taoyuan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, which has developed organic fertilizer from plant waste, said leaf litter contains all the needed nutrients for plants and contains less heavy metals than the commercially available organic fertilizers.
Experiments conducted by the station show that using its organic fertilizer, the average Chinese cabbage production is 29.5 metric tonnes per hectare, which is a 13.5 percent increase compared with using organic fertilizers sold on the market.
Other tests also show that lettuce production increased by 6 percent to 26.5 metric tonnes per hectare using the newly developed organic fertilizer.
Taiwan produces around 2 million metric tonnes of agricultural waste from livestock and plants every year, but only 10 percent is used to make fertilizer, while the remaining 90 percent is dumped, creating many environmental problems, the station pointed out.
The fertilizer is made from leaf waste, soybean meal, chicken feces, bamboo and other agricultural waste, said the station.
Use of the fertilizer can not only reduce the environmental pollution caused by dumping agricultural waste but can also increase the quantity and quality of produce, improving farmers' earnings, said the station.
(By Yang Su-min and C.J. Lin)