Compost is organic matter (plant and animal residues) which has been rotted
down by the action of bacteria and other organisms, over a period of time.
Materials such as leaves, fruit skins and animal manures can be used to make
compost. Compost is cheap, easy to make and is a very effective material that
can be added to the soil, to improve soil and crop quality.
• Compost improves the structure of the soil. This allows more air into the
soil, improves drainage and reduces erosion.
• Compost improves soil fertility by adding nutrients and by making it easier
for plants to take up the nutrients already in the soil. This produces
• Compost improves the soil’s ability to hold water. This stops the soil from
drying out in times of drought.
• Compost can reduce pests and diseases in the soil and on the crop.
Compost has many advantages over chemical fertilisers. These provide nutrients
for plants but do not improve soil structure. They usually only improve yields in
the season in which they are applied. Because compost feeds soil life and
improves soil structure, the beneficial effects are long lasting.
There are many ways to make compost depending on available materials and
climate, for example:
• Indore method
• Bangalore method
• Heating process/Block method
• Chinese high temperature stack
• Pit composting
• Trench composting
• Basket composting
• Boma composting