The production of organic fertiliser using stones and minerals found in Laos is in its infancy but experts believe large-scale production will benefit both the economy and the ecology.
An agriculture expert from the National University of Laos (NUOL) told the Vientiane Times on Monday about his feasibility study and successful research.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Nhoth Ph achomphonh of the Agriculture Faculty’s Postgra-duate Department, who led the study, said he and other experts at the faculty had been working on the project for 10 years and finally achieved the results they wanted last year.
He said the study revealed that millions of tonnes of nine types of stones and minerals useful for fertiliser production are available in this country.
The minerals they identified are apatite, peat, guano, clay soil mineral, dolomite, stone meal, lignite, illite, and silicate.
Dr Nhoth said he has invented 15 formulas of mixed minerals for use as organic fertiliser – two of which are very effective. One is a mixture of apatite with peat, lignite and another six components, and the second mixes apatite with peat, illite and another six minerals.
“The fertiliser can restore the quality of soil to give a yield of 6.5 tonnes of plain rice or 8.2 tonnes of glutinous rice per hectare, while 30 to 60 tonnes of cassava can be grown using 300kg of the fertiliser per hectare of fertile soil. About 600kg is needed for one hectare of poor quality soil,” he said.
Dr Nhoth also revealed the price of the future product which he believes will benefit both the producer and the farmer.
“As production of the fertiliser involves natural resources, I propose the reasonable price of 80,000 kip per 50 kg bag,” Dr Nhoth said.
He said some people involved in the project suggested pricing the product twice as high.
“I don’t want the price to be higher because I think my suggestion benefits the producer sufficiently,” he said, showing his business plan to Vientiane Times.
According to the plan, around 10 billion kip is needed to establish the business which includes the cost of building two processing plants with the capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes per year, earning 16 billion kip.
Dr Nhoth said many foreign businesspeople had expressed a willingness to cooperate with him while he reaffirmed his desire to provide farmers with sustainable techniques that are ecologically sound.
“My desire is to reduce chemical imports and agricultural production costs, protect the environment, and build self-reliance, self-sufficiency and capacity for our farmers in accordance with Party directives and government policy,” he said.