Organic cure

An organic liquid fertiliser promises to end farmer's woes

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

with the need to feed the burgeoning population on one hand, and the lack of arable land on the other, farmers across the world, more so in developing countries, are faced with a dilemma: how to increase crop yield while keeping production costs low. Use of pesticides, insecticides and high-yielding seeds, for instance, increase season after season, while profit margins plummet.

While dealing with the symptoms and not the cause of the problem, cultivators often disregard the soil's organic structure and simply consider it as a growing medium. The only way to solve the problem is to restore these soil to their once-healthy and productive state. us -based Kozgro International Inc Super Kozgro's Agricultural Blend ( skaf ), an organic product made from various plant extracts and sprayed on the crops/ plants, introduced in India, hopes to make the much needed difference.

A 100 per cent organic fertiliser in liquid form with all micro and macronutrients along with active humic acid, the product has been in use since World War II on all kinds of crops. Currently, it is being widely used in countries such as usa , Canada, Mexico, Kenya, Pakistan and Greece. For the past two years, it has also been field-tested in Punjab and has shown promising results.

skaf is a humus builder. Soil rich in humus will, in turn, require less chemical fertilisers, pesticides and water. Studies on the product indicate that when using skaf for the first season, farmers can generally reduce the amount of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and water consumption by about 30-40 per cent.

According to the manufacturers, unlike urea, skaf can also reduce nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ( npk ) requirements significantly because of its micronutrient content, including manganese, copper, iron and zinc. The Environment Protection and Training Research Institute, Hyderabad, has certified the product "... characterised by the presence of organic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are essential for the product's use as a fertiliser."

Among other things, field studies indicate that the product increases the permeability of the soil, soil germination, soil water retention; and control and reduce the presence of parasitic nematodes and soil erosion. This translates to increase in crop productivity and ultimately net profits to the farmers.

S&S Agro Biotech Private Limited, Hyderabad, applied the fertiliser in the banana fields. According to production manager T Venkateshwara Rao, "We suggest that the application of skaf in banana cultivation would be more economical in comparison to traditional methods."

"In Punjab, I have been personally monitoring the results. It has been sprayed on wheat and paddy and the yields have increased by as much as 75 per cent," says Hardev Singh of Camellia Overseas Private Limited, New Delhi, the sole distributor of the product in India.

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