Biofertilizers: A Sustainable Approach for Pulse Production

  • Subrata Nath Bhowmik
  • Anup Das


Nutrient needs of plants can be met through a number of sources which include mineral fertilizers, organic manures, recycled wastes and by-products, biological nitrogen (N) fixation (BNF), natural minerals and to lesser extent nutrients recycled through irrigation waters, and precipitation. These supplement the soil nutrient reserves for nourishing the crops. Presently, soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become a paramount importance in agriculture for their potential role in food security and sustainable productivity. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria, and many other useful microscopic organisms. The interactions of these beneficial microbes with environment determine crop health in natural agroecosystem by providing numerous services to crop plants, viz., soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition, nutrient acquisition and recycling, weed control, water absorption, and biocontrol, thus enhancing soil fertility and maintaining soil heath in eco-friendly manner. Various complementing combinations of microbial inoculants for management of major nutrients such as N and phosphorus (P) are necessary for sustainable production. Biofertilizers also cut the cost of chemical fertilizers used in agriculture considerably. An estimated amount of US$ 1421–15,237 of chemical fertilizer in the form of urea per hectare per year can be substituted by biofertilizer. The present chapter highlights the broad canvas of biofertilizers that enhance N and P nutrition in varied crops with special reference to pulses in the form of several perspectives. The mode of action of these microorganisms within and the transformation of nutrients elucidated. In the Indian scenario, the use of biofertilizers faces various constraints, such as longevity, etc. that need to be overcome to achieve substantial fertilizer savings. One of the key issues that remain is the method of formulation of these biofertilizers. Some prospective solutions to tackle the issue are brought out in this chapter.


Biofertilizer Biological nitrogen fixation N-fixing microorganism Biological nitrogen fixation Phosphate-solubilizing microorganism PGPR 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subrata Nath Bhowmik
    • 1
  • Anup Das
    • 2
  1. 1.ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Tripura CentreLembucherraIndia
  2. 2.Division of Crop ProductionICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionUmiamIndia

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