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At Project Alba we’re always looking for ways to become more sustainable and to bring greater benefits to smallholder farmers. This month our innovative research and development team, focused on utilizing unused plant waste at the farms as well as finding ways to improve farmers soil. Composting is our answer to both of these!

Think bins are boring? Think again, they are key to breaking down plant-based materials

There are many ways to compost, but the research and development team is using enclosed, tumbling compost bins to break down plant-based materials. Bins are constructed out of heavy plastic barrels and filled with a mixture of fresh and dried organic matter, including weeds, palm frond, banana peels and unused vegetables.

The enclosed bins are rotated every 2-3 days to aerate the mixture and encourage microbial growth. With the hot Cambodian weather, the compost should be completely broken down and ready to use after 3-4 weeks.

In the coming months, experiments are planned at our testing field in Takeo Province to explore what raw waste products are best to use, the length of time to fully compost, and how the compost benefits our local soils.

Simple yet innovative solutions are a brilliant way to continue to boost the productivity of our farmers. We’re aiming to have these composters on farmers fields in 2018 so they can see the benefit of these great solutions to waste product.

Lowery Michelle, 28th September 2017