What is EM?
“Effective Microorganisms” (EM) as per the research & development under Dr. Teruo Higa, Japan, is made from organisms which are found in nature and most of which are used for fermentation of human food; it contains no genetically modified organisms.
In India, Dr. Higa’s original EM is being produced by M/s Maple Orgtech, Kolkata and sold as “Maple EM.1”. Specialized versions of Maple EM.1 with different microbial populations are being made available.
Gardening and farming
Solid waste management
Indoor control of pests & moulds
Control of ticks & mites on pets
Bathroom & toilet
Where can I use it?
EM is used in gardening and farming, in animal husbandry and fish & shrimp culture, in composting and solid waste management, in wastewater treatment, for the elimination of foul odors, for control of flies & cockroaches indoors, for the control of ticks and mites on pets, for the control of mouldy odours, for surface cleaning in households and bathrooms, in drains and toilets, and in ant channels and pools.
How can I activate Maple EM.1?
- One liter of Maple EM.1 and 1 kg or 1 liter of organically grown jaggery (or of molasses) are to be mixed with 20 liters of water; for large-scale applications with up to 50 liters of water.
- The water has to be clean and free from chlorine.
- The container should be of food-grade plastic and have an airtight lid. It must be clean and not contaminated e.g. with residues of chemicals or bio-waste. (Glass or metal containers are not appropriate as the development of gas may cause the container to break or explode. Metal containers can be used if their lids are equipped with a valve to release gas pressure).
- As gas will be generated during the fermentation, the gas pressure in the container must be released everyday by opening the lid for a fraction of a second.
What else do I have to know?
EM stock solution i.e. Maple EM.1 is the dormant version of EM. It has a shelf life of twelve months. EM stock solution is to be “activated” – or “extended” – prior to use.
In South India, with ambient temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius, the container should be placed in shade without exposure to high fluctuations in temperature; under these conditions activation will take five to seven days. Completion of activation can be verified by confirming a pleasant sweet-sour smell (and by measuring the pH, which should be about 3.5).
With the ideal microbial composition of AEM deteriorating over time, AEM should be used within one to two months. Hence, users are advised to prepare only the volume of AEM which they can use within this period. EM.1 should be activated only once.
Thus from one liter of EM stock solution and one kg of jaggery, you can produce 21-22 liters AEM ready for use. AEM is to be used in the following dilutions with water:
- In hygiene full strength or in dilution (with water) up to 1:100;
- In farming in dilutions ranging from 1:200 to 1:1,000;
- In wastewater treatment diluted (with effluent or sewage) up to several thousand times;
- Similarly in varying dilutions in animal care, aquaculture, and bioremediation of contaminated soils, sludge and waterbodies – see special literature.
Thus, with 1 liter of Maple EM.1, 2,200 liters (if AEM is diluted 1:100) or 22,000 liters (if AEM is diluted 1:1,000) of solution can be produced, and much larger volumes of effluents can be treated.