Vermicomposting is defined as the production of compost with the use of worms. It is a fast way to convert organic farm waste into organic fertilizer. It degrades waste as vermi or earthworm (African night crawler) feed on and digest waste materials. Vermicomposting results in a better quality product that is produced in only 4-6 weeks compared to ordinary compost that is produced in 8-12 weeks.

vermicomposting photo

Photo by jeffschuler

“Vermicompost” or the castings of the earthworms is an excellent soil enhancer and bioactive fertilizer for organic farming. Earthworms can also be made into feed for fish or other domesticated animals.

I. Estimated Investment Costs

The initial capitalization in starting a small vermicomposting business on vermicompost production will depend on the scale from backyard (P5,000) to commercial (P50,000).

A. Tools

Gardening gloves
Spading fork

B. Raw Material/Packaging Material

Vermi (Worms)
Foodwastes, fruit/vegetable trimmings and peelings, dry leaves and stems, animal manure
Vermi Bed or earthworm bed (Dimension: 2x1x0.3m)
Black plastic garbage bags
Plastic sacks (50-kg. capacity)

C. Equipment

Mechanical shredder (optional)
Bicycle-powered sorter (optional)

II. Procedure

1. Collect biodegradable materials such as food wastes, fruit/vegetable trimmings, peelings, and dry leaves and

2. Shred/grind the food wastes, fruit/vegetable trimmings, peelings, and dry leaves and stems.

3. Mix old animal manure and chicken droppings (2 months old) with shredded vegetable waste. This will improve the nutrient content of the finish product. Do not use fresh manure for the ammonia produced will give discomfort to the worms.

4. Sun-dry these materials for at least three days and let them undergo partial fermentation.

5. Weigh the shredded grinded materials before putting in the compost bed to determine ratio of compostables
and worms.

6. Before stocking the earthworms, make sure that all materials in the vermi bed are prepared.

7. Moisten the bedding with water and cover it with black plastic garbage bag, old sacks, net, or banana leaves to start “anaerobic process”, which is completed after 1-2 weeks.

8. After the anaerobic process, remove the cover and stock the vermi bed with earthworms.

9. Maintain the vermi beds’ moisture content and temperature through regular checking. Protect the worms from predatory animals.

10. Vermicompost is harvested when most of the materials have been consumed by the worms. This takes about
30-45 days depending on environmental and culture conditions.

11. In harvesting, separate the “vermi” from the vermicompost either manually (handpicking) or using a strainer/sifter.

12. Properly pack vermicompost in sacks and store in a cool dry place.

13. Harvested/sifted vermi from the vermi beds may either be used for the next vermicomposting cycle or for expansion by constructing additional vermi beds.

14. The offspring or produce of the initial vermi in the vermi bed can also be sold to would-be vermicompost producer or to fish pond owner as fish meal.

Did you know that…
• Earthworms are also called “vermi”.
• The “African Nightcrawler” (Eudrilus eugeniae) is the earthworm species suited to be grown in the Philippines for vermicomposting.
• Vermicast or worm manure is the end-product of the organic matter breakdown by some species of earthworm.
• Earthworms are hermaphrodite, meaning they have both the male and female sex organs.
• When sexually mature, worms breed every week and can produce 1-3 young worms.

• 1 vermi bed = 12 harvests in a year.
• Vermi bed (Dimension: 2x1x0.3 m.)
• African Night Crawlers is sold at P250/kl.
• Harvesting is done after 30 days.
• 150 kilos of biodegradable wastes + 2 kilos of worms = 90 kilos of compost
• Compost sells at P6.00/kl.
• 2 kg. of vermi per bed would yield 4 kg. of additional vermi in 4 weeks.

Business Registration Requirements

1. Business Name Registration
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

a) 12/F, Trafalgar Plaza, 105 H.V. Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel. No.: 811.8232 loc. 208

b) 2/F, Park N’ Ride, Lawton, P. Burgos Ave., Dr. Basa St., Ermita, Manila
Tel. No.: 536.7153

c) Ground Floor, Highway 54 Plaza, EDSA, Mandaluyong City (across SM Megamall)
Tel. No.: 706.1767

d) 5/F, Floor Araneta Square Mall Monumento Circle, Kaloocan City
Tel. Nos.: 332.0854 / 332.0829
DTI office in the province where the business is located
Validity: 5 years

2. Mayor’s Permit
Local municipality or provincial city where the business is located

3. Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Bureau of Internal Revenue
BIR National Office Bldg.
Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City
Trunkline: (632) 981.7000 / 981.8888
BIR Regional or District office where the business is located

Funding Sources

People’s Credit and Finance Corporation
Microfinance Program
2/F, Accelerando Bldg., 395 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
E- mail:
Tel. Nos.: (02) 897.8521 loc 291 / 752.3745
Fax No: (02) 325.0448 / 325.0449
(Retail Lending is through partner microfinance institutions.)

Agricultural Credit Policy Council – Department of Agriculture
28/F, One San Miguel Ave. Bldg.,
San Miguel Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. Nos.: (02) 634.3326 / 634.3320 to 21
Fax: (02) 634.3319
(Retail Lending is through partner microfinance institutions.)

Technical Assistance (Where to train)

1. Department of Agriculture (DA)
Bureau of Plant Industry – Crop Research Division
692 San Andres St., Malate, Manila
Tel. Nos.: (02) 524.0734
Fax No: (02) 521.5775

2. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB)
University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna
Tel. Nos.: (049) 536.2269 / 536.2229
Fax No.: (049) 536.2850
– Training and pilot demo on vermicomposting and supply of breeders

3. Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development
Jamboree Road, Brgy. Timugan, Los Baños, Laguna
Tele/Fax No.: (049) 536.1582

– PCAMRD Manila Liaison Office
2/F, Room 205, PTRI Building,
Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 837.2071 loc 2430

4. Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines
Unit 9, Citiland 8, # 98 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No.: (632) 830.0005
Fax No.: (632) 830.0051

5. Buro-Buro Vermi Farm
Sitio Balogo, Brgy. Concepcion, Talisay City
Tel Nos.: (034) 433.6880 / 433.0362 / 712.1100
Batchoy Henares: 0917.8543939
Pamela Henares: 0917.3015250

* DOST-PCAMRD, “How to Produce Vermicompost and Vermimeal with Vermi in the Backyard.”
* “SWAPP 2008, Vermicomposting Project of a Project Hauler.” Presented by Ms. Avelina Lipata of Jaram Hauling Services.
* DENR 1997, “Sustainable Livelihood Options for the Philippines, An Information Kit; Upland Ecosystem.”

5/F, Trade and Industry Building
361 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel. Nos.: (02) 897.1693 / 897.7596 / 890.4968
Fax No.: (02) 896.7916  Email: