Scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute in Kerala developed a way to pack beneficial microbes into a pill and use it on the farms.
- The Bio-Pill was developed by scientists from the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) which is a part of ICAR.
- Many benefits are attributed to bio-pill.
- It reduces the need for the farmers to carry large volumes of biofertilizers.
- Promotes effective delivery of beneficial microbes to the crops.
- The Boosting Crop Growth With ‘Bio-Pill’ also enhances the shelf-life of the microbes.
- With the pill, farmers do not need to worry about the microbes in the pill losing their viability in room temperatures. It is generally the case with liquid-based biofertilizers.
- In the market, plant growth-enhancing formulations such as rhizobacteria (PGPR) formulations are available in liquid form or in powder form.
Success of the Pill
- So far bio pills were restricted to labs across the world. IISR is the first in the world to commercial them successfully.
- It is the propriety (application for patent has been filed in many countries) encapsulation technology that IISR developed that led to commercialisation.
- The biocapsules of IISR weigh only one gram. The microbial population in the capsule is equivalent to what is available in a 1 kg power-based formulation.
- Any kind of farm-friendly bacteria like nitrogen-fixing bacteria, micronutrients, fungi and soluble phosphates can be encapsulated using IISR’s technology.
- As per scientists, the capsules reduce fertiliser use by upto 25%.
- Already many companies in India have approached IISR and have begum marketing bio-pills.
The Indian farmer is burdened with the use of synthetic fertilisers. Farm productivities are declining and unwanted health and environmental issues are creeping up. Most are now taking to organic farming that is environmental and health-friendly. Even there, farmers have to trudge the heavy sacks of biofertilizers. Bio-pills will ease their labour and also effectively deliver the microbial strains to the crops. Innovations such as this will go a long way in boosting agriculture productivity.