Efficiency of plant nutrient enhancer for sustainable agriculture in diverse agro-ecosystem
Keywords:Natural farming, plant nutrient enhancer (Jeevamrut, Ghanjeevamrut, Beejamrut)
Agriculture is a dominant sector in India, thanks largely to the Green Revolution. Though it has enhanced agricultural production, productivity, and the country’s economy, long-term studies show that synthetic fertilizers and agrochemicals injudiciously deplete soil fertility and disrupt the soil ecology. In this context, a few traditional farming practices (such as Homa farming, Biodynamic farming, Agroecological farming, Permaculture, and Natural farming, under the umbrella of “Organic farming”) appear to be a viable alternative for resolving the majority of the problems associated with conventional input-intensive agriculture. Natural farming, in particular, is lately become a catchphrase amongst farmers, policymakers, and stakeholders. In its broadest meaning, natural farming is practicing agriculture that adheres to nature’s laws by considering the balance of natural biodiversity around the farm to ensure the least disruption to agroecology. The nutrient management in natural farming practice broadly revolves around the management of plant nutrient enhancers viz; Jeevamrut, Ghanjeevamrut and Beejamrut coupled with other components like Achchhadan (mulching), and mix cropping. Different farm-based fermented concoctions, named as Jeevamrut, Ghanjeevamrut and Beejamrut, are added to the soil or used to treat seeds to revitalize the soil microflora, and so to enhance soil fertility. The different studies revealed that nutritional and microbial analysis of the Jeevamrut exhibited the presence of different macro- and micro-nutrients and a large population of essential microbes including Azotobacter sp., Actinomycetes sp., and phosphate solubilizers. The microbial counts increased from its initial values with time as the incubation progressed. Different reviews have been reported for variations in the microbial counts (bacteria and fungi) as well as nutrient contents in the Jeevamrut prepared from different sources. Application methods of the Jeevamrut have also their impact on its efficiency. The solid form of the Jeevamrut, Ghanjeevamrut; also have great nutritional content and culturable microbial count compared to the Jeevamrut and FYM. The impact of application methods of a fermented concoction called Beejamrut, have also been varied for germination, vigor, and protection of seeds, seedlings, etc., from soil- and seed-borne pathogens, according to different studies.
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