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What is Biofertilizer?

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What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizer is a large population of a specific or a group of beneficial microorganisms for enhancing the productivity of soil either by fixing atmospheric nitrogen or by solubilising soil phosphorus or by stimulating plant growth through synthesis of growth promoting substances.

Bio-fertilizers based on renewable energy source are cost effective supplement to chemical fertilizers, eco-friendly and can help to economise on the high investment needed for chemical fertilizer use as far as nitrogen and phosphorus are concerned.



What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizer is a 100% natural and organic fertilizer that helps to provide and keep in the soil all the nutrients and microorganisms required for the benefits of the plants.

There are millions of Microscopic Organisms near the plants that conform a in a micro environment that provides nutrients to the plants also helps to keep the water and retain the nutrients in the soil easy available to the plants.
When you fill them with chemicals, most of them die forever, losing the capacity of the soil to be sustainable at long term.



What is Biofertilizer?

The end product of the various phases of Biodigestion, is a liquid which is dark in colour due to the presence of Humus in it. We call this Pure Biofertilizer, and it can be used on soil as a high quality organic fertilizer, or even as a corrector of pH, bacterial life and texture.

The Biofertilizer has a relative high nutrient concentration, and even so, it can be used directly over soil before planting.

Once diluted, it constitutes a high quality foliar fertilizer, and in this form, it is known as Diluted Biofertilizer.

Diluted Biofertilizer also has all the needed conditions to be used as a complete Nutrient Solution in Organic Hydroponics.

The advantages of using the biofertilizer are enormous, not only it is very economical, but also for the high agricultural yields which it produces.



What is a Bio-fertilizer?

Most fertilizers add nitrogen to the soil. This can be done via chemical fertilizers, or through a process called biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). On a worldwide basis it is estimated that about 175 million tons of nitrogen per year is added to soil through biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). The term bio means living; so bio-fertilizers refer to living, microbial inoculants that are added to the soil. These bio-fertilizers are products consisting of selected and beneficial microrganisims, which are known to improve plant growth through supply of plant nutrients.

The soil microorganisims used in biofertilizers are: Phosphate Solubilizing microbes, Mycorrhizae, Azospirillum, Azotobacter, Rhizobium, Sesbania, Blue Green Algae, and Azolla. Let's go through these groups in a little detail in order to understand their role in bio-fertilizers, which can be used to make rich, living soil that is suitable for coffee plants.

Phosphate Solubilizing Microbes:

Phosphorus is an important nutrient for plants. There are several microorganisims which can solubilize the cheaper sources of phosphorus, such as rock phosphate. Bacteria like Pseudomonas striata, and Bacillus megaterium are also important phosphorus solubilizing soil microorganisims. Many fungi like Aspergillus and Penicillium are potential solubilizers of bound phosphates. They solubilise the bound phosphorus and make it available to the plant, resulting in improved growth and yield of crops. Soil phosphates are rendered available to plants by soil microorganisims through secretion of organic acids. Therefore, phosphate dissolving soil microorganisims play some part in correcting phosphorus deficiency in plantation soils. They may also release soluble inorganic phosphate into soil through decomposition of of phosphate rich organic compounds. These microbial inoculants can substitute almost 20 to 25% of the phosphorus requirement of plants.

Phosphate solubilising microbes can also be inoculated to coffee husk along with rock phosphate while preparing compost to enrich the compost with available phosphorus.


The term "mycorrhizae" refers to fungus associated with plant roots. These fertilizers are divided into ectotrophic and endotrophic or the vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) categories. Most plants depend on their mycorrhizal association for adequate uptake of nutrients (especially the immobile ions such as phosphate, zinc and micronutrients) and survival in natural ecosystems. Mycorrhixal association stimulates branching of the root and increases the absorption surface of the root. Other benefits include tolerance to drought, high soil temperature, soil toxins, and extreme Ph levels, as well as protection against root pathogens. This is why, When trees are introduced to new regions, inoculation of soil with mycorrhizal fungi is a necessary prerequisite for the establishment of the trees.


Azospirillum are nitrogen-fixing bacteria that lives in a symbiotic relationship in the root cortex of several tropical crops. They stimulate plant growth through nitrogen fixation and production of growth subustances like auxins, gibberellins and cytokinin. It is estimated that almost 10 to 15% of the required nitrogen can be met by Azospirillum biofertilizer.


Azotobacter are free-living, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and are known to produce several plant growth promoting subustances. In addition to nitrogen fixation by these bacteria, they are also known to protect plants against pathogenic microorganisims either by discouraging their growth or by destroying them. These inoculants need more attention in view of their triple action of nitrogen fixation, bio-control, and production of plant growth regulators.


Rhizobium bacteria, basically form root nodules in leguminous plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen in a symbiotic association. The Rhizobium bacteria gives nitrogen to the plant and the plant gives protection to the bacteria from oxygen damage by harbouring it inside the root nodule.


Many legumes are grown and then turned into the soil while they are still green to enrich soil nitrogen. Sesbania is a green manure plant which forms both root and stem nodules in association with rhizobium and thereby fixes more atmospheric nitrogen. These legumes produce ten times more nodules than other legumes and have a very high capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Apart from enrichment of soil nitrogen, green manuring enriches the phosphorus, calcium, sulphur and other micronutrient of the soil.

Blue Green Algae:

Blue Green Algae (BGA) or Cyanobacteria have the ability to carry out both photosynthesis as well as nitrogen fixation. They belong to the order Nostocales and Stigonematales. Algal flakes are grown and then broadcasted.


Azolla is a floating fern which harbours a blue green algae in its leaf cavities. The fern multiplies very fast with the symbiotic association of the algae and this rapid multiplication creates a huge amount of biomass on the surface of the water. It is then harvested, dryed and used as biofertilizer.


Bio-fertilizers (also known as microbial inoculants) improve soil fertility and enhance nutrient uptake and water uptake in deficient soils, thereby aiding in better establishment of plants. Bio-fertilizers also secrete growth subustances and antifungal chemicals, as well as improve seed germination and root growth. The dual effects of phosphorus mobilizing fungi and specific nitrogen-fixing bacteria can cater to the needs of the current coffee plantation sector.

Thus, the use of bio-fertilizers will effectively enrich the soil and will cost less than chemical fertilizers, which harm the environment and deplete non-renewable energy sources



What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizers are ready to use live formulates of such beneficial microorganisms which on application to seed, root or soil mobilize the availability of nutrients by their biological activity in particular, and help build up the micro-flora and in turn the soil health in general.



What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizer is living fertilizer compound of microbial inoculants or groups of micro-organisms which are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen or solubilize phosphorus, decompose organic material or oxidize sulphur in the soil. On application, it enhances the growth of plants increase in yield and also improve soil fertility and reduces pollution.

There are variety of nitrogen fixing micro-organisms present in the nature. These are broadly divided into three categories, viz.,

  1. Symbiotic micro-organism e.g. Legume –Rhizobium, Symbiosis

  2. Asymbiotic or free living e.g.Azotobacter, blue green algae.

  3. Associative Symbiosis, e.g.Azospirillum

These micro-organisms supply in addition to nitrogen, considerable amount of organic matter enriching structure of soil. Inoculants of these micro-organisms have proved their technical feasibility, economic viability and social acceptability. They are therefore called as `biofertilizer’. Hence the term `biofertilizer’ or microbial inoculants may be defined as preparations containing living or latent cells of efficient strains of nitrogen fixing, phosphorous solubilizing or cellulolytice micro-organism.

Need for biofertilizers:
Biofertilizers have definite advantage over chemical fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers supply over nitrogen whereas biofertilisers provide in addition to nitrogen certain growth promoting substances like hormones, vitamins , amino acids, etc., crops have to be provided with chemical fertilizers repeatedly to replenish the loss of nitrogen utilised for crop growth. On the other hand biofertilizers supply the nitrogen continuously throughout the entire period of crop growth in the field under favourable conditions. Continuous use of chemical fertilisers adversely affect the soil structure whereas biofertilizers when applied to soil improve the soil structure. The deleterous effects of chemical fertilizers are that they are toxic at higher doses. Biofertilizers, however, have no toxic effects.

It may be borne in mind that biofertilizers are no substitute for chemical fertilizers. At present, the use of chemical fertilisers is far below the recommended level. Therefore, the aim and object of spread of biofertilizers technology as a Industry has to build up efficiency in use of chemical fertilizers supplemented by low cost inoculants to the extent possible.



What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizers are ready to use live formulates of such beneficial microorganism which on application to seed, root or soil mobilize the availability of nutrients by their biological activity in particular and help build up the micro flora and in turn the soil health in general. 

Nitrogenous biofertilizers harvest atmosphere nitrogen and converts into ammonical form, which in due course is made available to the plants or is released in the soil. Phosphate solutions solubilize fixed forms of phosphorus already present in the soil and make it available for use of plants. Compositing biofertilizers are used for hastening the process of compositing and for enriching its nutrient value.

Why Bio fertilizer ?

With the introduction of green revolution technologies the modern agriculture is getting more and more dependent upon the steady supply of synthetic inputs (mainly fertilizers) which are products of fossil fuel (coal+ petroleum). Excessive dependence of modern agriculture and the supply of these synthetic inputs and the adverse effects being noticed due to their excessive and imbalanced use has compelled the scientific fraternity to look for alternatives.



Hazards while producing chemical fertilizers.


What can Biofertilizer be used for?


  • Main fertilizer in most agricultural application

  • Substitution of chemical fertilizer

  • Feeding of fish culture

  • Aquaculture

  • Close biological "Kreislauf": waste from livestock goes back to the source of feeding of the livestock


  • Dried biofertilizer can be used to fire / cooking


  • Add slurry to the process of clay-brick-production

Where can Biofertilizer be used?

  • Integrated farming-systems

  • Mainly in the agricultural sector

  • Areas with little or no access to chemical fertilizer


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last update: 24/10/2013
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