It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. That's roughly 100 times as many as those who actually die from these causes each year.
About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.
The faster growth of world’s populations cause a need to intensify the production of food and other plant originated products using newer methods of plant genetics, plant hygiene and plant nutrition without affecting the environment and tapping the energy reserves to the barest minimal; to stop such hunger deaths and malnutrition.
This is best achieved by improving the efficiency of the plants.
In the long run genetic modifications may affect the interests of the humanity.
One best method of achieving the goals of higher food crops and commercial crops with targeted nutrient profile of the yield is by fortifying the PLANT NUTRITION.
Fertilisers can be divided into
1. Organic and Inorganic Fertilisers
2. Solid, liquid and gaseous Fertilisers
3. Plant origin, Animal origin, Microbial, Mineral, Synthetic Chemical Fertilisers.
4. Soil applied products, foliar spray products and and products mixed in water
irrigation systems like sprinklers etc.
All sorts of Fertilizers are given to plants to promote growth and to improve yield;
When applied through the soil, they are absorbed by plant roots.
When sprayed over the leaves they are absorbed through leaves.
Fertilisers in general provide in varying proportions,
1. The three major plant nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium: N-P-K),
2. The secondary macro plant nutrients like Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium
3. The micronutrients like Boron, Cobalt, Chlorine, Manganese, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, Selenium, Chromium and Vanadium.
HISTORY OF CHEMICAL FERTILISERS
Upto 18th Century farmers were using natural fertilizers.
First step of Chemical Fertilisers started with Chemist Justus von Liebig (1803–1883).
In England he attempted to implement his theories commercially through a fertilizer created by treating phosphate of lime in bone meal with sulfuric acid.
Super phosphate was first produced in 1842 by Sir John Bennet Lawes (1814–1900).
The first real commercial phosphatic fertilizer known as Thomas phosphate named after Sidney Gilchrist Thomas (1850–1885)and Percy Gilchrist (1851–1935). Metallurgists; was a bye product of Steel Industry.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, the Nobel prize-winning chemists Carl Bosch of IG Farben and Fritz Haber developed the process that enabled nitrogen to be cheaply synthesised into ammonia, for subsequent oxidisation into nitrates and nitrites.
The first ammonium phosphate was produced in 1927 by Erling Johnson
Imperial Chemical Industries developed synthetic ammonium sulfate in 1923, Nitro-chalk in 1927, and a more concentrated and economical fertilizer called CCF based on ammonium phosphate in 1931.
Of late they have helped in achieving higher yield of the crops.
But they have miserably failed by
Decreasing the taste, shelf life of the produce
Destroyng the useful microbes and insects.
Increasing the incidence of pests and harmful insects.
Increasing the toxic metals and minerals in the end produce.
Reducing the Total Digestable Nutrients of the yield
Increasing Salinity and alkalinity of soils
HISTORY OF BIO FERTILISERS
Robert Hooke observed fruiting structures of molds in 1665 and was the first to describe microorganisms.
In 1677 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek was the first to describe bacteria in 1676.
The field of microbiology was unable to develop until Leeuwenhoek constructed microscopes that allowed scientists to see organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye.
In 1861 Louis Pasteur's disproved spontaneous generation. His work led to the development of methods for controlling the growth of microorganisms.
In 1867 Joseph Lister practiced antiseptic surgery.
In 1876 Robert Koch developed a set of postulates to prove that a specific microorganism causes a specific disease. For Example. M. tuberculosis causes tuberculosis. He has grown bacteria on solid media in 1881.
In 1882 Paul Ehrlich developed acid-fast Stain
In 1884 Christian Gram developed Gram Stain
In 1885 Louis Pasteur produced First Rabies vaccination.
The term mycorrhiza (fungus root) was first coined by Frank, a German Scientist in 1885.
In 1887 R.J. Petri invented Petri Dish
In 1890, Sergei Nikolaevich Vinogradskii (Winogradsky) proposed a novel life process called chemosynthesis. His discovery that some microbes could live solely on inorganic matter emerged during his physiological research in 1880s in Strassburg and Zurich on sulfur, iron, and nitrogen bacteria.
In 1892 Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovski discovered viruses
Beijerinck and Winogradsky (Late 19th century) studied bacteria in soil and water.
In 1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin.
In 1977 W. Gilbert & F. Sanger developed a method to sequence DNA
In the middle to latter part of the 20th century, basic and applied microbiology worked hand in hand to usher in the current era of molecular microbiology.
In the early days “plant growth promoting rhizobacteria” was used to describe the microbes used in Agriculture.
Biofertilisers are low cost, effective, environmental friendly and renewable source of plant nutrients to supplement fertilizers
Good soil consists of 93% mineral and 7% bio-organic substances. The bio-organic parts are 85% humus, 10% roots, and 5% edaphon.
Humus is a product of the synthetic and decomposing activities of the microflora; it exists in the dynamic state. Similarly, edaphon is a world of life and consists of microbes, fungi, bacteria, earthworms, micro-fauna, and macro-fauna.
Beneficial microorganisims work incognito to maintain the ecological balance by active participation in carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorous cycles in nature.
Soil microorganisims play a pivotal role in the evolution of agriculturally useful soil conditions.
In tropical countries the efficacy of Bio Fertilisers is very high due to the high temperatures.