Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Beneficial Indigenous Microbes

Most of the time bad news seems to dominate blog output. Here for a change is a good news story. Good old bacteria are being used by ordinary farmers to reduce their dependence on commercial pesticides and fertilisers. Sometimes experts are just way behind the times:
By learning how to cultivate microorganisms, growers become able to meet their needs with what exists on the farm and can stop buying amendments from chemical companies (purveyors who, some might argue, are the real peddlers in modern farming). The technology was born of ingenuity, but it has spread by financial necessity, primarily among farmers in developing countries for whom agricultural chemicals are painfully expensive.
The tools of the trade are simple: A combination of sugar, vodka, milk, garlic, mango, rice and other easily available local products. The aim being to cultivate microorganisms in solutions that can be diluted and sprayed on compost to increase fermentation. They can also improve nutrient uptake by plants and reduce plant disease. Forget the old NPK formula, this stuff works and as any microbiologist will tell you, bacteria have been doing it for plants for a long time.


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