Crop Biotech Update

Soil Bacteria and Fungi as Effective Bio-fertilizers

May 21, 2010

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) organized a program entitled Conservation and Sustainable Management of Below Ground Biodiversity (CSM-BGBD), which aims to improve food security and farmer incomes through the use of 'below ground biodiversity.' The project was conducted by scientists from seven countries - Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and Uganda.

Results of their study show that crops produced more yield by more than 50 percent with the aid of bacteria and fungi from soil. For instance, in the testing conducted in Kenya, soil with inoculated Rhizobium bacteria produced 40-60% more soybean yield than the soybean planted without the bacteria. Moreover, when Trichoderma fungi was added with fertilizer, the soybean yield was doubled. Thus, with the use of the said soil bio-fertilizers, the farmers would have lowered expenses as well as  improved the utilization of  nutrients and water.

The press release is available at http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=624&ArticleID=6573&l=en&t=long. Details of the (CSM-BGBD) project can be found at http://www.bgbd.net/.