An in-depth study of biofertilizers: types and benefits

By Matanat Rashid

Mon, 17 Sep 2018

The United States of America is deemed as the leader of the biofertilizer market across the globe. According to the estimations, the North American biofertilizer market is going to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% from 2014-2019. The remarkable growth of the biofertilizer market is a clear indication of its popularity among the agricultural department and its stakeholders as well. However, according to a report in the New York Times, 50% of the farmers who own small businesses in the US aren’t familiar with the definition, procedure, and the benefits of biofertilizers. Technically, no one would risk their business with anything which they can’t comprehend on a practical level. Therefore, it is imperative for the farming community to recognize the role of biofertilizers in the agriculture field.

Biofertilizer is a loosely defined term that refers to a broad spectrum of soil amendments and growth stimulators. In simple words, biofertilizer can be defined as purely taken substances from animals’ waste along with the microbial mixtures which aid in growing the plants by providing them with the increased nutrients. The appealing prospect about these fertilizers is that they are not only eco-friendly, but they also are cheaper when compared to the synthetic or other types of traditional fertilizers. However, there is still some controversy surrounding biofertilizer usage and whether they are suitable for plants’ health or not. On this line, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, conducted an in-depth study on biofertilizers, and have concluded that the use of biofertilizers in the soil makes the plant healthy and further protect them from various diseases.

Types of Biofertilizers:

– Nitrogen Biofertilizers: As the name suggests, this type of biofertilizers focus on helping the farmers determine the nitrogen point during solid ground. The plants require a certain amount of nitrogen which also varies according to the nature and type of soil and crop, respectively.

– Phosphorus Biofertilizers: This is the type of biofertilizers which determine the level of phosphorus in the soil. They also help in maintaining the appropriate level of phosphorus according to the nature of soil and crop. Phosphorus Biofertilizers are applicable to different types of the crops such as Acetobacter, Rhizobium, etc.

– Compost Biofertilizers: The Compost Biofertilizers are those which utilise animal dung to enrich the soil with microorganisms and nutrients. Cellulytic Fungal Culture and Azetobacter Cultures represent two examples of compost Biofertilizers.

Benefits of Biofertilizers:

• Use of microbial biofertilizers improves the soil structure by influencing the aggregation of soil particles
• Biofertilizers also assist in better water relation. It means that they improve leaf water and turgor potential. They also ensure that the proper amount of water reaches the root for a better length development
• They also boost the harvest yields as they can increase an average crop yield by at least 20-30%
• They reduce the overall production cost by replacing the expensive chemical and synthetical fertilizers
• They help fortifying the soil by providing protein, vitamins and minerals to the soil
• The farmers can also utilise biofertilizers for protecting the plants against the droughts and other stringent conditions


The agricultural industry is highly reliant on the usage of chemical fertilizers in yielding desirable results. However, the chemical substances are hazardous for human consumption and they further harm the ecological balance. Conversely, biofertilizer technology has inaugurated a modern era in biological input technology over the past decade, and it is clear that biotechnology would dominate the agricultural industry soon and would also benefit the farmers dealing in smaller businesses with lower budgets.

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Matanat Rashid

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