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How Organic fertilizer in Agriculture can provide sustainable Future?

  • Published
    15th Oct, 2022
Context


With the fact that India has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the World, it has invested in almost all sectors including Organic fertilizers. India has a huge potential for Organic fertilizers and an edge in the field over other developing Countries.


So, let us see what India’s potential is and how it can help it to grow a sustainable future in Agriculture.

About

What are Organic Fertilizers?

  • Organic fertilizers are fertilizers that are naturally produced. Fertilizers are materials that can be added to soil or plants, in order to provide nutrients and sustain growth.
  • Typical organic fertilizers include all animal waste including meat processing waste, manure, slurry, and guano; plus plant-based fertilizers such as compost; and bio-solids.
  • Inorganic "organic fertilizers" include minerals and ash.
  • For Example, The main organic fertilizers are, peat, animal wastes, plant wastes from agriculture, and treated sewage sludge.

Types of Organic Fertilizers:

  • Organic fertilizer can be categorized into two segments, according to government rules:
    • Bio-fertiliser: Bio-fertilisers are composed of living microorganisms attached to solid or liquid carriers and are useful for cultivable land, as these microorganisms help in increasing the productivity of soil and/or crops.
  • Organic manure: It refers to partially decomposed organic matter like digestate from the biogas plants, compost, and vermin compost, which provides nutrients to the soil/crops and improves yield.

India’s potential:

  • India produces more than 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW), based on estimated MSW generation data from the National Solid Waste Association of India and the Central Pollution Control Board. 
  • Considering collection efficiency of 80 percent and the organic part of MSW to be 50 percent, the total organic waste generated per day in India comes to around 65,000 tonnes per day.
  • Even if half of this is diverted to the biogas industry, the government can leverage this by reducing in import of fossils and fertilizers. 
  • Biogas/gobar gas plants can produce biogas and also organic fertilizers.
  • There is also great value in the organic fertilizer also known as digestate, which is the biogas plant's effluent. 
  • Biogas can be utilized for heating, electricity, and even vehicular purposes (after upgrading), whereas digestate can help realize the vision to have a second green revolution. 

    Benefits of Organic fertilizers

    Challenges associated

    • Boost both nutrient efficiency and organic matter content in the soil;
    • nurture the soil with organic matter that reduces dependency on chemical inputs;
    • restore and maintain soil fertility to nurture plant growth;
    • enhance the biological activity and biodiversity of soils;
    • enhance the quality attributes of produce as well as yield;
    • improve the efficiency of nutrient use to produce more robust crops;
    • facilitate the slow release of nutrients in response to the dynamic needs of plants;
    • boost the efficiency of water use to render crops more resilient and drought-resistant;
    • Reduce the impact of farming and safeguard ecosystems by minimizing leaching.
    • Enhance crop resistance to erosion by improving the soil’s organic matter content.
    • Improve the efficiency of resource use by incorporating natural raw materials.
    • Organic food is more expensive because farmers do not get as much out of their land as conventional farmers do.
    • Production costs are higher because farmers need more workers.
    • Marketing and distribution is not efficient because organic fertilizers can be produced in smaller amounts as required.
    • Organic farmers does not have sufficient knowledge and skills about localized soil systems, meteorology, ecology, and other factors that influence crop growth. Without the proper knowledge, an individual organic farmer will be unable to protect his crop in critical stages that may arise while farming processes.
    • The crops are easily susceptible to illness that may slow down production.
    • Organic farms have to go through tough certification processes.

     

How do organic-based fertilizers contribute to sustainability?

  • Smart growth – for an economy based on research, knowledge, and innovation.
  • Sustainable growth – for a resource-efficient, greener, and more competitive economy.
  • Inclusive growth – for a high-employment economy with social and territorial cohesion.
  • The organic-based fertilizers industry generates local employment opportunities and regional economic development across both rural and urban areas, nurturing more vibrant manufacturing and farming communities.

Few Government Initiatives promoting Organic Fertilizer:

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Cluster formation, training, certification, and marketing are supported under the scheme to a farmer towards organic inputs.
  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification

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