“Despite the many accomplishments of mankind, we owe our existence to six-inch of top soil and fact that it rains.” – Confucius
Sustainable agriculture is the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species.
Modern agriculture is becoming more and more dependent upon the steady supply of synthetic inputs, mainly chemical fertilizers, which are products of fossil fuel (coal+ petroleum). Adverse effects are being observed due to the excessive and imbalanced use of these synthetic inputs. The soils have now become biologically dead. This situation has led to identifying harmless inputs like biofertilizers and biopesticides.
Organic farming is one such strategy that not only ensures food safety, but also adds to the biodiversity of soil.
Organic farming is the raising of unpolluted crops through the use of manures, biofertilizers and biopesticides that provide optimum nutrients to crop plants, keeping pests and pathogens under control.
Biofertilizers have an ability to mobilize nutritionally important elements from non-usable to usable form. These microorganisms require organic matter for their growth and activity in soil and provide valuable nutrients to the plant. The microorganisms in biofertilizers restore the soil’s natural nutrient cycle and build soil organic matter. Through the use of biofertilizers, healthy plants can be grown while enhancing the sustainability and the health of soil.
1) They are less toxic and inherently less harmful and cause less environmental load.
2) Designed to affect only one specific pest or, in some cases, a few target organisms;
3) Often effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the pollution problems.
4) When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes, biopesticides can contribute greatly.
5) They are safer for humans and the environment.
Roles of BioFertilizers:
✓ Make nutrients available.
✓ Make the root rhizosphere livelier.
✓ Growth-promoting substances are produced.
✓ More root proliferation.
✓ Better germination.
✓ Improve the quality and quantity of produce.
✓ Improve the fertilizer use efficiency.
✓ Higher biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.
✓ Improve soil health.
✓ Residual effect.
✓ Make the system more sustainable
Biofertilizers increase the availability of plant nutrients and can help in maintenance of the soil fertility over a long period.The changing scenario of agricultural practices and environmental hazards associated with chemical fertilizers demand a more significant role of biofertilizers in coming years.