Potancy of Vermiwash with Neem plant parts on the Infestation of Earias vittella (Fabricius) and Productivity of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) (L.) Moench


Keshav Singh* and  Harendra Kumar Chauhan  

Vermiculture Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology,

D. D. U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur-273009 U.P. India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: keshav26singh@rediffmail.com



Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a popular and worldwide commercially cultivated vegetable crop. Abundant use of chemicals in agriculture for the productions of vegetable leads to concentration on plant and soil. The municipal solid wastes (MSW) caused environmental hazards and various adverse effects on ecosystem, if proper management is not available. There was recycling of MSW through vermibiotechnology and vermiwash production. The aim of present study was to determine the effect of vermiwash with neem plant parts on the germination, growth, productivity of okra and its pest infestation. The significance germination of okra seed in vermiwash with aqueous extract of neem bark (VW+NB) 97±5.21% than other combinations and early germination was observed (11.48±0.49 days). The maximum height of okra 42.42±0.79 cm was observed in after 90 days by sprays of VW+NB. The combination of VW+NF was important for high productivity of okra. The maximum productivity of okra plant was observed 773.23±20.64 g/m2 in treated with VW+NF. The lowest pest infestation of okra pod borer ( Earias vittella ) was observed after spray by VW+NF combination.


KEYWORDS: Wastes, Eisenia fetida, vermiwash, vermibiotechnology, Earias vittella growth and productivity, okra.




Abundant use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides leads to concentration of chemicals and metals, which ultimately affect the ecosystem. The agricultural production based on chemical fertilizers and pesticides are dangerous for soil fertility and conservation (Brady and Weil, 2002). The excessive use of phosphatic, nitrogenous and potash fertilizers pollute the water and food items, causing serious health problems and eutrophication in aquatic (Bhattacharya, 2004). Vegetables play a very important role in global food security. The low proportion of vegetables in dietary composition play important role in improvement of malnutrition.


Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) is a popular and worldwide commercially cultivated vegetable crop, commonly called bhendi or ladies finger in India. Besides being a vegetable, it acts as clarifying agent in jiggery preparation (Chauhan, 1972). Crude fiber derived from the stem of okra plant is used for rope making. Okra is said to be very useful against genitourinary disorders, spermatorrhoea and chronic dysentery (Nadkarni, 1927). It occupies an area of 3.70 lakh ha with an annual production of 36.57 lakh t and encourage yield of 9.88 t/ha during 2005-06 (Anon., 2005). Major okra producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam (Anon., 2004). Okra belong to family Malvaceae which have been infested by nineteen insect pests and four mites (Anon., 2000) causing both quantitative and qualitative loss to the crop.


Shoot and fruit borer of okra, Earias vittella is a notorious  pest causing more than 40-50 per cent losses in cotton and okra crops, it caused 69% loss in okra alone. E. vittella occurs generally as an early to mid-season pest attacking tender terminal shoots, boring into the stem and feeding on flowers and green bolls (Kranthi et al.,2004). The fruit borers include shoot and fruit borers Earias vittella (Fabricius) alone causes damage ranging from 52.33 to 70.75 per cent whereas, in general the overall damage due to insect pest amounts to 48.97 per cent loss in pod yield (Pareek and Bhargava, 2003;Kanwar and Ameta, 2007).


Neem (Azadirachta indica) commonly called ‘Indian Lilac’ or ‘Margosa’, belongs to the family Meliaceae, tribe Melieae. Neem is the most versatile, multifarious trees of tropics, with immense potential. It possesses maximum useful non-wood products (leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, seed, gum, oil and neem cake) than any other tree species (Roxburg, 1874; Girish and Shankara Bhat 2008). Biswas et al. (2002) reported that the nimbidin has anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antipyretic, hypoglycaemic, antigastric ulcer, spermicidal, antifungal, antibacterial, diuretic whereas, nimbin has spermicidal, nimbolide- ntibacterial, antimalarial, antifungal, antimalarial. The municipal solid wastes (MSW) caused environmental hazards and various effects on human life and their domestic animals, if their proper management and disposal practices are not available. Although some research works have been done on the potential of earthworms in vermicomposting of solid wastes particularly household and agro-wastes. The epigeic earthworm species Eisenia fetida is a suitable earthworm species for vermicomposting which have short life cycle, small size and high rate of conversion of organic wastes as well as reproduction (Nath and Singh, 2012; Chauhan and Singh, 2012). Different microorganisms (bacteria, actinomycetes, algae and fungi) were colonized in the intestine of earthworm and as a result the concentration of various enzymes, plant hormones, growth stimulator, and vitamins were increased directly or indirectly during vermicomposting (Suthar, 2010). Vermicomposting of MSW by the help of Eisenia fetida had an appropriate alternative for safe, hygienic and cost effective disposal of municipal solid wastes and convert to good quality liquid biofertilizers.


The aim of present work to observed the suitable combination of vermiwash from municipal solid wastes with neem based biopesticides for the proper germination, growth, productivity and minimize the pest Earias vittella infestation.



2.1. Collection of MSW and experiment set up for vermicomposting

Municipal solid wastes (MSW) and buffalo dung were collected from the local municipality and form house of Gorakhpur city. Vermibeds were prepare from municipal solid wastes and buffalo dung (in 1:1 ratio) and for pretreatment exposed to the sunlight for 5 to 10 days to remove the various harmful organism and noxious gases. After pretreated, adult earthworms Eisenia fetida were inoculated in each vermibed for vermicomposting. The vermireactors had covered with a fine mesh screen in order to prevent the worms in bed and allow gas exchange and also moisten daily up to 40-50 days for maintaining the moisture (50% to 60% RH). After one week interval vermibed were turned manually. The tea like granules, brown color have been appearance on the upper surface of each vermibed after 90 days; fresh vermicompost collected for extraction of vermiwash (Nath et al., 2009).


2.4. Extraction of vermiwash

Vermiwash were extracted from prepared fresh vermiwash with earthworms by the help of vermiwash collecting device. The apparatus is made from plastic drum having capacity of two liter and a tap at the bottom. The drum is filled with broken bricks, about 3 cm thickened which is followed by sand layer of 2-3 cm thickness lastly filled with vermicompost with earthworms, simultaneously one liter fresh water was added in to the drum and after 10 hours a container kept below the tap for the collection of vermiwash (Nath et al., 2009).


2.5. Extraction of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) plant parts

Neem leaves, bark and fruit were collected from the campus of DDU Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur U.P. India, dried in direct sunlight for two weeks, with periodic turning. The dried each 100 g leaves (NL), barks (NB) and fruits (NF) materials were grounded and sieved through 2 mm sieve and ground material was soaked in kerosene (100 ml) over night and extract was squeezed using a thin muslin cloth. Then extract was made up to 5000 ml by using water and slightly worm to obtain 5 per cent (further used as stock solution) of NL, NB and NF respectively. Neem based bio-pesticides mixed with vermiwash (1:1 ratio) which further diluted by with water (VW+NB stock solution: water in 1:10). Prepared vermiwash with biopesticides spread in okra crop at the interval of 15 days, and first spray 10 days after showing.


2.6. Measure the growth, production of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) and Earias vittella pest infestation

The Okra seeds (Abelmoschus esculentus) variety- Arka Abhay, showed in agricultural field of Zoology research building II, Department of Zoology, D. D. U. Gorakhpur University Gorakhpur, UP India. In the cultivated field, randomly selected six spots, each square meter area was used for sowing the pulse crops. The effect of vermiwash with neem bio-pesticides was measured on the germination, for this seeds soaked in different combinations for 24 h and observed result in per cent.


For measurement of okra growth (cm.) randomly selected plant from each spot and use Auxanometer at the interval of 15 days after 30 days of sowing. The productivity was measured as kg/plant of okra crops. The different combinations of vermiwash with neem biopesticides was sprayed over the crops after each 20 days interval for the measurement of growth whereas, at the time of starting of flowering after each 10 days interval the different combinations of vermiwash with biopesticides was sprayed over the crops and control have no treatment.

2.7.         Statistical Analysis

All the experiments were replicated six times for the purpose of obtaining consistency in the result and finding out the mean with standard error. DMRT used for determined the significance in each column as growth, flowering as well as productivity of crops (Dhamu and Ramamoorthy, 2008).



The effect of vermiwash and with neem based biopesticides on germination of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) seed was observed for 24 h. There was significant germination of okra seed in vermiwash (VW) with aqueous extract of neem plant parts 90±2.87 to 97±5.21% than control 75±3.32%. The early germination of okra seeds were observed significantly by treated with vermiwash with neem plant parts (15.12±0.64 to 12.25±0.36 days) than control (15.12±0.64 days) (Table 1).


The data displayed in Table 2 foliar spray of vermiwash obtained from MSW and buffalo dung with neem plant parts were significantly increased the height of okra plant. There was time dependent significant growth was observed after sprays of VW with different aqueous extract of neem plant parts. The maximum height of okra 42.42±0.79 cm was observed in after 90 days by sprays of VW+NB combination and also this combination showed high growth rate of okra plant (Fig. 1).



Table 1. Effect of vermiwash of MSW of buffalo dung with aqueous extract of neem plant parts on the germination per cent and period (days) of okra seed.


Germination (%)

Germination period (days)
















Liquid extract of neem based leaf (NL), bark (NB), and fruit (NF), VW= vermiwash of buffalo dung with municipal solid wastes (MSW). Each value is the mean ± SD of six replicate. *Mean differences in column followed by common letter are not significant at P<0.05 (DMRT).




Table 2. Effect of different vermicomposts of MSW of buffalo dung with aqueous extrat of neem part on the growth (cm) and productivity (kg/plant) of okra crop.

Wastes combinations

Growth (in cm)

Productivity (kg/plant)

30 days

45 days  

60 days 

75 days 

90 days





































Table 3. Effect of different combinations of vermiwash of municipal solid wastes and neem plant parts on productivity of okra plant and pest infestation of Earias vittella.


Pod pest infestation (%) after

30 days

45 days 

60 days 

75 days 


1.07± 0.05b

2.28± 0.05b

8.36± 0.78b

16.59± 0.54c


0.77± 0.03ab

1.10± 0.03ab

5.65± 0.58ab

10.30± 0.87b


0.21± 0.03a

0.44± 0.02a

1.12± 0.13a

0.67± 0.04a


0.20± 0.02a

0.38± 0.03a


0.13± 0.02a


0.04± 0.05a

0.13± 0.05a


0.12± 0.04a

Liquid extract of neem based of leaf (NL), bark (NB), and fruit (NF). Each value is the mean ± SD of six replicate. *Mean differences in column followed by common letter are not significant at P<0.05 (DMRT).



Fig. 1 Effect of different vermi wash of MSW and buffalo dung with aqueous extract of neem part leaf (NL), bark (NB), and fruit (NF) on the growth (cm) of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) crop.

The effect of VW and with aqueous extract of neem plant parts on Earias vittella pest infestation (kg/plant) of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) plant was observed. The effect of foliar spray of vermiwash obtained from MSW and buffalo dung alone and with neem based biopesticides on the productivity of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) plant was studied. The maximum productivity was observed 3.81±0.28 kg/plant in treated with VW+NF followed 3.56±0.29 kg/plant by VW+NB. The productivity of okra plant (2.96±0.21 to 3.81±0.28 kg/plant) was observed in treated with vermiwash with aqueous extract of neem plant part than control (1.32±0.26 kg/plant) (Table 2).


There was significant reduction of Earias vittella pest infestation (individual@100 pods) after foliar spray of vermiwash with aqueous extract of neem plant parts. The significant lowest pest infestation of okra pod borer was observed in combination of VW with NF after 90, days (Table 3).



The vermiwash with aqueous extract of neem plant parts showed significant germination of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) plant may be due to presence of different plant hormones and micro-macro nutrients in vermiwash. Vermiwash of different wastes are rich source of enzymes, vitamins, plant growth hormones (such as IAA, gibberellins, cytokinins) and also provide nutrients (such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium etc.) (Pathak and Ram, 2004; Ansari and Sukhraj, 2010; Gopal et al., 2010; Nath and Singh, 2011; 2012). The significantly increased the growth of okra plants was observed due to foliar spray of vermiwash and neem based biopesticides. Zambare et al. (2008) have observed that vermiwash supplemented with enzyme of proteases, amylases, urease, phosphatases, nitrogen fixing bacteria like Azotobacter sp, Agrobacterium species and Rhizobium sp which may be important of okra growth. In this study it was observed that no major role of neem based biopesticides on the growth of okra plant because there was no significant growth in treatment with VW and with different part of neem based biopesticides. Nath and Singh (2011) observed the significant growth of cauliflower after foliar spray of vermiwash of animal dung with agro and kitchen wastes. The effect of vermiwash and different neem based biopesticides were observed in the flowering of okra plant may be due to the presence of important inorganic and organic nutrient for flowering present in vermiwash. The hormones auxines promotes the plant growth and gibberellins stimulate the early flowering in long photo-period plant (Krishnamoorthy and Vajranbhiah, 1986; Edwards, 1998). Vermiwash/vermicompost was enriched in certain metabolites and vitamins which important for plant growth and productivity (Lalitha et al., 2000; Ansari, 2008a; b).


The effect of foliar spray of vermiwash obtained from municipal solid wastes and buffalo dung with neem based biopesticides showed significant productivity of okra plant may be due to vermiwash and neem based biopesticides which also protect the pod/grains. The maximum no. of pod per plant was observed in treated with VW+NF > VW+NB showed that neem based fruit biopesticides were more protective than bark. Large amount of humic acids was produced during vermicomposting (Albanel et al., 1988) and, humic acid extracted in vermiwash. The highest no. of seed per pod was observed in VW > BF which reviled that vermiwash was responsible for no. of grain in okra pod. There was no significant difference of fresh seed weight because in control even small no. of pod and or grain observed but it size and weigh large. Presence of essential nutrients which were absorbed by plants and increase metabolic rate and enhance the crop productivity (Edwards et al., 2006).


There was significant pest infestation in control >VW after 100 days, this observation showed effect of neem based biopesticides. The significant low pest infestation of okra pest was observed 100 days by treatment with VW+BF which showed the maximum use fruit as pesticides. Ponnusamy (2003) reported that the reduction in bug population by application of neem based biopesticides on rice crop. Nath et al. (2008) recorded that significant reduction in the population of Helicoverpa armigera larvae after spray of vermiwash with neem based pesticides on the Cajanus cajan crop. Wondafrash et al. (2012) was also observed that the water extract obtained from neem leaf extract caused significant decrease in feeding and survival behavior of insect pest. The active component azadirachtin reduced the feeding behavior of larvae of various lepidopterous insects. Oligophagous species were more sensitive than polyphagous ones (Schmutterer, 1984). The volatiles of neem seed kernel prevented contract and repelled the moths H. armigera (Rembold et al., 1984). Heyde et al. (1984) demonstrated that the spraying of 1-50% emulsion of neem oil significantly reduced the food intake of homopterous insects. The increase the productivity of okra crop may be due to presence of replant active compound, non-isoprenoids, sulphurous compounds, polyphenolics such as flavonoids and their glycosides, dihydrochalcone, coumarin and tannins, aliphatic compounds, phenolic acids, etc. (Govindachari, 1992; Biswas et al 2002; Siddiqui et al., 2004).



The use of vermiwash and biopesticides are less expensive, non hazardous and eco-friendly for human as well as animal health. The present study is information about the management of MSW through recycling and production of vermiwash. With the help of vermiwash and biopesticides enhance growth, flowering and productivity as well as reduction of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) pest infestation. The used of vermiwash and neem based biopesticides have significant per cent germination of seed, growth, early flowering, productivity and reduced the reduced the Earias vittella pest infestation.



Authors are thankful to University Grant Commission (UGC) New Delhi Project F. No- 42-527/2013 (SR) for financial assistance.



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Received on 20.03.2015          Accepted on 31.03.2015        

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Asian J. Res. Pharm. Sci. 5(1): Jan.-March 2015; Page 36-40

DOI: 10.5958/2231-5659.2015.00006.5