Fertilizers were welcomed with open arms, for they immediately increased the yield of crops. But their recurrent use has done an irreparable damage to the environment. Excess use of chemical fertilizers has led to the pollution and contamination of the soil, has polluted water basins, destroyed micro-organisms and friendly insects, making the crop more prone to diseases and reduced soil fertility. More and more farmers are now looking for more eco-friendly options. Bio-fertilizers have, to some extent provided an answer to the soil contamination voes.
Bio-fertilizers are eco-friendly fertilizers, which are being used to improve the quality and fertility of the soil. Bio-fertilizers are made from biological wastes and they do not contain any chemicals. They are beneficial to the soil, as they enrich the soil with micro-organisms that help in producing organic nutrients, which in turn help the soil to fight diseases. They therefore enrich the the nutrient quality of the soil. They also restore the depleted nutrients of the soil.
|The main sources of bio-fertilizers are bacteria, fungi and cynobacteria (blue-green algae). Plants have a special relationship with bacteria and fungi. They provide the plant with nutrition, resistance against diseases and the ability to combat worst climatic conditions.
Bio-fertilizers are being viewed as the future of fertilizers, as they have the ability to solve the problems of salinity of the soil, chemical-run offs from the fields. They, therefore, ensure the well being of the nutrients present in the soil, therefore making the soil more fertile with time.
- The first and the most important advantage of using bio-fertilizers is that they are environment friendly, unlike chemical fertilizers that damage the environment
- They are comparatively low on cost inputs and are light on the pockets of the farmers
- Their use leads to soil enrichment and the quality of the soil improves with time
- Though they do not show immediate results, but the results shown over time are extremely spectacular
- Microorganisms convert complex organic materail into simple compounds, so that the plant can easily take up the nutrients
- These fertilizers harness atmospheric nitrogen and make it directly available to the plants
- They increase the phosphorous content of the soil by solubilising and releasing unavailable phosphorous
- Bio-fertilizers improve root proliferation due to the release of growth promoting hormones
- They help in increasing the crop yield by 10-25%