Beneficial microbes to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity

The importance of soil biodiversity in maintaining soil fertility, and its interdependence of soil biological activities with physical and chemical characteristics is gaining attention in the context of sustainable agriculture. MSSRF has been involved in identification of potential strains, exploring its unique properties in soil health management and making them into a final product that can be used by farmers. Currently it has a culture collection of 30,000 bacterial isolates from mangroves and agriculture soils. The in-depth studies in some of the strains resulted in valuable inputs to strengthen its application in soil health management. Notably, the bacterial strain Pseudomonas sp. MSSRFD41, a native isolate from finger millet root zone reduced the fungal blast disease incidence and enhanced yield in millets. The microbial consortia of MSSRF (Pseudomonas sp. and AM fungi) found to enhance crop productivity by 30% in finger millet and pigeon pea and reduced fertilizer input by 50%. MSSRF trained women group members in mass production and formulation as biopesticides and biofertilisers.

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