The MSSRF DBT Biotech KISAN hub offers exposure to scientists on methods of inoculum production
The Biofertilizer and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) production training was organised at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, from May 10 to 14, 2022, under the DBT Biotech-KISAN Hub Project, and focused on methods of biofertilizers – PGPR isolation, characterisation and production; and AMF mass multiplication and colonisation. They form the basis of bioinoculants production strategies, application and evaluation for effectiveness.
“We received training on the production of biofertilizers (Pseudomonas and Rhizobium) by fermentation process, biocontrol agents-Trichoderma via liquid and solid-state fermentation and AMF by plant host culture in polyhouse,” explained Dr Jotirmayee Lenka, one of the participants at the MSSRF training. She is a Scientist (Fruit Science) from IISWC-ICAR, RC, Sunabeda, Koraput, Odisha.
The trainings were on:
- Mass multiplication of PGPR and AMF;
- Formulation of the bioinoculants;
- Curing and packaging; and,
- Determination of the shelf-life, recommended dose of application and method of application.
Throughout the training, MSSRF emphasised on laboratory handling of chemicals and equipment (Microscope, Laminar flow, centrifuge and autoclave). The mode of training was through lectures, practical and demonstration sessions.
The activities undertaken are classified into six major sessions:
- Microbial inoculants-types and application in various forms. Practical on microbial techniques-media preparation, serial dilution, isolation and CFU counts.
- Biofertilizers, microbial inoculants-types and application in various forms and its importance in agriculture; preparation and application of bio-fertilizers in organic farming system; and role of bio-fertilizers.
- Role of AMF on plant growth promotion. Practical hands on training and exposure to potting mixture for mass multiplication of AMF in the ring, inoculation of AMF spores, sowing the seed and AMF colonisation assay.
- Principles of fermentor and strategies for large scale multiplication of PGPR. Practical exposure to media preparation, injection and fermentor sterilization then different bioinoculant formulation, harvesting of culture liquid, and talc formulation then packaging of products.
- Current status and challenges, quality control shelf-life of bio-inoculant production.
- Individual participant count spore for Trichoderma and AMF under microscope, while also observation of culture growth in the fermentor for mass production of media.
“We learned a lot, and despite challenges, we are trying to implement the AMF mass multiplication concept in rural areas. We look forward to working with these types of concept in the future,” Dr Jotirmayee added.
About DBT Biotech-KISAN at MSSRF
MSSRF is a grantee of the DBT Biotech KISAN hub project and has established the same in aspirational districts of the Eastern plateau and hills in Odisha, also in the Western Ghats of Kerala. The focus is to improve farming practices, sustainable use of soil and water and to create access to rural processing technologies, value addition and markets.
The main hub is established at MSSRF, Chennai. SubHub 1 is at MSSRF BPTAbC Jeypore partnering with ICAR-IISCW, Sunebeda, Odisha, and implements project interventions in the aspirational districts of Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada. Sub Hub 2 in MSSRF-CAbC, Wayanad, is in partnership with ICAR- IISR, to implement project interventions in Wayanad – the aspirational district of Kerala.
The hubs create a platform for knowledge-sharing between farmers and scientist to address location-specific problems in partnership with collaborating institutions and also organising fellowship programmes for farmers (including special fellowships for women farmers) in the form of Farmers’ Trainings / workshops / awareness programmes / Kisan melas, etc.
About DBT Biotech- KISAN
The Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) is a mission programme of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, New Delhi, and aims to establish Biotech hubs across India. The key focus is transferring science and technological innovations for managing problems in agricultural activities, soil health, building leadership and entrepreneurship skills to promote sustainable models for agri-business and agro-value chain development. It is a Pan-India program following a hub and spoke model, and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation among farmers, particularly women farmers.