Sustainable agriculture using Biopesticides and Biofertilizers

The indiscriminate use of agrochemicals in agriculture has done extensive damage through pollution and contamination of the soil. This has become a burden for people engaged in agriculture. It has also rudely awakened Governments all over the world and they are trying to implement environmentally friendly practices to achieve greater sustainability in agriculture.

Biofertilizers and Biopesticides are one of the beneficial methods that can go a long way in reversing the damage done till now. The best BSc colleges in Noida offer numerous courses in these subjects and students can make good use of the potential in biotechnology field to build a lucrative career.

The chemical leaching through indiscriminate use of agrochemicals have polluted the groundwater and degraded the soil resulting in nutritionally unbalanced crops and unproductive lands. The excessive use of pesticides too have caused grave damage to the environment and the rural communities who face a lot of health problems and deformities in their offspring.

Alternate to Agrochemicals

Scientists all over the world are engaged in research and development of effective bioagents to overcome the problem and achieve improvement in crop production that is sustainable in the long term.

Biofertilizers

Bio-fertilizers consist of microorganisms that enhance the nutrients in the soil through their biological activities. Fungi, bacteria, and cyanobacteria are the main biofertilizers

Bacteria – Bacteria of different kinds like symbiotic, non-symbiotic or existing as in loose association to the roots of the higher plants. They fix the free nitrogen in the soil by converting them to nitrogen compounds which are absorbed by the plants. This reduces the dependence on chemical fertilizers.

Rhizobium is another symbiotic bacteria that reside in association with the leguminous plants. Root nodules are formed by it in the legume plants. This results in fixing of atmospheric nitrogen in the presence of leghemoglobin pigment. Once the harvest is done, the roots of these plants are left in the soil to decay thus enriching the soil with compounds of nitrogen. The subsequent crops are benefitted by this. The legume plants are grown in crop rotation and is known as green manuring.

Frankia is yet another symbiotic bacteria that live in associates with non-leguminous plants and helps in fixing nitrogen and forming compounds of nitrogen.

Cyanobacteria Anabaena is found in cavities of the floating fern leaves known as Azolla. The form compounds of nitrogen from free nitrogen and emits them into the cavities. The leaves are excellent Biofertilizers.

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Fungi biofertilizers – Fungal hyphae have a symbiotic relationship with the roots of higher plants known as mycorrhiza. The fungi are provided food from the plant and in return, the fungi provide mineral elements to the plant. This mycorrhizal association is capable of converting the marginal land into a fertile land which will reduce the dependency on fertilizers and irrigation.

Ectomicorriza – The fungal hyphae here forms a thick sheath on the external surface of the root mainly found in forest trees like oak, pine and similar. Phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and calcium is absorbed by this fungi and they convert the complex molecules into simpler ones which are assimilated by the roots easily.

Thus Biofertilizers are a cost-effective solution with no pollution, they also enhance the soil quality for sustained agriculture. The dependence on chemical fertilizers is reduced to a great extent. The drawback is the results from these take a long time.

Benefits and limitations of Biopesticides

Presently Biopesticides can be used as a preventive measure and not as a curative one. This is a limitation that has prevented them from becoming popular. A lot of research work is being carried out to find the solution to it. Biopesticides work by interfering with the propensity of the pathogen to infect. One way they interfere is through parasitism and another way is through producing secondary compounds.

Conclusion

Biofertilizers and Biopesticides are gaining popularity of late due to widespread damage was done to crops, land, and groundwater by polluting them with agrochemicals used indiscriminately. Though these are slow in working and giving results, they are still a better and safe alternative. Over time they can become indispensable for sustainable long-term agriculture. Best BSc College in NCR is the right educational institutions for the students aspiring to build a career in this field.