May 4, 2022

The TN Agriculture department sets a target for the production of biofertilizers

District-level biofertilizer labs have been given targets to produce seven types of these bacteria-based fertilizers that will help anchor nitrogen in the soil, an official said.

District-level biofertilizer labs have been given targets to produce seven types of these bacteria-based fertilizers that will help anchor nitrogen in the soil, an official said.

To encourage farmers to reduce their dependence on chemicals in agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture has ordered districts to produce enough biofertilizers in liquid form, which have a longer shelf life than those in liquid form. powder.

“District-level biofertilizer labs have been given targets to produce seven types of these bacteria-based fertilizers that will help anchor nitrogen in the soil and make phosphate and phosphorus available in the soil for plants. These can be used for all kinds of crops including paddy and vegetables.We have one targeting groundnut and another targeting legumes,” explained a senior department official.

Not stopping at production, extension activities are also planned to ensure proper use of these biofertilizers. “The use of NPK fertilizers reduces the dependence on chemical fertilizers by 25% and helps improve the soil profile over a period of time. It also leads to a reduction in agricultural input costs,” another official explained. .

The government has 22 units producing biofertilizers with a capacity of 50,000 liters each and producing a total of 11 lakh liters per year. There are also nine private units which produce 9.85 lakh liters per year.

“Delay in delivery is a problem”

Meanwhile, farmers in several areas of the state, who hailed the plan, said that by the time the biofertilizers reached their depots, they were approaching expiration dates. “We buy seeds and store them before the planting season. But if the fertilizer is nearing the expiration date, we cannot use it. Few farmers use bio-fertilizers as they are not aware of its benefits,” said Seshadri, a farmer from the northern district of Tiruvallur.

In Tirupattur, Jayagopi, a farmer who is the president of a farmers’ organization, said that although they would love to store and sell biofertilizers to members, they were unable to do so. “Many of our members don’t realize the importance of these and instead keep them on the sidelines saying it involves too much work. If they have to dip the seedlings in liquid biofertilizers, it takes more farm labor, which we don’t have,” he said.

Progressive farmer Ravichandran from Thiruvar said the absence of extension activities by the agriculture department was a major reason for the lack of awareness among farmers. Staff who are supposed to carry out extension activities are busy with other work. “Furthermore, farmers expect bio-fertilizers to work wonders almost overnight. They are used to urea and know how it works,” he pointed out.

Another Chengalpet farmer, Parasuraman, said there should be trial plots in each district showing how they work and how they should be used. The government also needs to have a tracking mechanism to know how much is being used by farmers, he added.