by Sanath Nanayakkare
A group of scientists from the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) have developed a bio-fertilizer which they say can replace up to 50% of chemical fertilizer usage in major commercial cropland; increasing the crop yield by 20-30%, and significantly contributing to reduce the country’s chemical fertilizer import-bill.
Sri Lanka spends over Rs. 50 billion a year on importation of chemical fertilizers, out of which Rs. 40 billion is borne by the government as subsidies.
Gamini Seneviratne, Research Professor IFS led the research team while Samuditha Kumarasinghe, Director Biofilm Bio-Fertilizer coordinated the project.
This product which is claimed to be a world’s first from Sri Lanka has been field-tested for many years across many major agricultural disciplines, according to the researchers.
After obtaining positive results through extensive field trials, Biofilm bio-fertilizer has now been introduced to vegetations, fruit, floriculture, tea and cinnamon. A number of farmers who have used Biofilm have confirmed the positive results claimed by the scientists.
According to the scientists, the patented Biofilm bio-fertilizer is an environmentally friendly, 100% natural, organic, chemical-free fertilizer which is manufactured with only locally sourced substances.
“The product does not contain any pathogenic micro-organisms and is also free from heavy metals such as Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As), Lead (Pb) and Mercury (Hg)”, they claimed.
Speaking further they noted, “There are multiple benefits in using this fertilizer in agricultural farm land. As Biofilm is 100% natural and organic, it offers farmers a great opportunity to obtain yield by 20-30% higher yields even through organic farming. This fertilizer helps to develop a strong root system enhancing natural pest and disease control”.
“It Improves Nitrogen fixation and Phosphorus dilution in the soil while Increasing organic matter in the soil infusing fresh life into the soil. As a result, it Increases microbial diversity in the soil improving the condition of the soil”.
“Those are the environmental benefits. The commercial advantage of Biofilm is, it can significantly reduce your expenditure on fertilizer”.
“And from a national point of view, the use of 100% natural and organic products such as Biofilm Biofertilizer will help limit the use of agro chemicals and chemical fertilizers, which will subsequently save our farmers and general public from life threatening health complications such as the chronic-kidney-disease (CKD) in future. In addition, the use of Biofilm Biofertilizer will save the country billions in foreign exchange as the importation of chemical can be reduced”, they said.