In the era of sustainable development the new economic theory of development today is “Environmental economics” that balances between economy and ecology. In all development programmes including agriculture there is an amalgamation of economic development with ecological conservation. The chemical fertilizers are being used considerably in conventional agriculture that adversely affects the farm land and economy of farmers. The UNCED directive of Agenda 21 emphasizes the need for ecological and social equity for a sustainable future. In view of this the farmers can be encouraged for production of vermicompost from the organic resources available at farm. The rural agricultural community struggle to strive through the high costs of fertilizers and later on the implications from it. Hence there is a need to materialize the adequate capital for the agriculture by assessing the economics of production and marketing of vermicompost. The vermicompost can be produced at farm using locally available resources and simple devices. This will also develop an opportunity for entrepreneurship among Ethiopian farmers. Efficiency of marketing depends on the purchase behavior of farmers. In the present study an assessment was done about the cost of materials needed to start with a vermicompost unit and the cost of production of vermicompost and the ultimate benefit from it. Nearly 2830Ethiopian birr is required to start with a unit and the nutrients analysis of compost costs 250 Ethiopian birr per sample. The initial total cost of production may be 3000 Ethiopian birr which will be less in subsequent years as the production unit is a permanent one. The emerging business environment can add benefit to the marketing of vermicompost and thereby encouraging the organic farming systems.
Key words: vermicompost, production cost, marketing
Ethiopia is one of the top performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa with agriculture as the mainstay of the economy. The agriculture products like coffee, oil seeds, dried pulses, hide and skin, young flowers are exported for foreign revenue. The increased small holder productivity and production is recognized by the Government of Ethiopia in achieving the planned economic growth rates. The agricultural potential should be utilized to improve the country’s economic growth. FAO is committed to improve the agricultural possibilities of Ethiopia. Their focus is in marketing of the products within and outside the country to improve the economic development (FAO, 2011).
The soil nutrient depletion in Ethiopia is highest in sub Saharan Africa. The Ethiopian small holder farmers face low agriculture productivity problems. This could be attributed to the limited access to the modern technologies due to high cost (Report, 2010).Environmentally sound farming systems with high returns to the farmers should be developed across the country to overcome the problems. The scope of organic farming is high in the country and more...