Technology of Beneficial Microorganisms (BM-Technology)
Dr. Tahir Hussain
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
EM stands for Effective Microorganisms and was developed at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa Japan in the early 1980's, by a distinguished Professor of Horticulture, Prof. Dr. Terou Higa. He is a Horticulturist by training and had worked on the intensive use of agrochemicals.
Realizing the damages it causes to man-kind and the environment, Professor Higa developed a mixture of beneficial microorganisms, first by accident and thereafter by diligent research, to enhance productivity of conventional organic farming system. The results were remarkable.
The expansion process of this technology, now commonly referred to as EM, began in 1989 with the inception of the 1st International Kyusei (Saving the world) Nature Farming Conference in Thailand where the need to scientifically validate the technology of EM and enhance its use was discussed. Thus, the Asia Pacific Natural Agriculture Network (APNAN) was formed.
This network, which included 13 countries ranging from the west coast of the United States of America through Asia to Pakistan developed the mandate to establish an International program for promoting research, education and extension of EM-Technology.
Dr. Tahir Hussain, Professor of Soil Science and now Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) was selected as the Principal Scientist from Pakistan to conduct research on this technology. He started work in 1989 and become an active member of APNAN program.
His first priority was to help mineralize through fermentation process crop residues, farm manures, industrial wastes and municipal solid waste with the use of EM. His approach was to enhance the fertility of soil by improving its physical, biological and chemical properties.
After initial successful results of several trials, an agreement was signed between the UAF, Pakistan and International Nature Farming Research Center, Atami, Japan in 1994 to establish country's first Nature Farming Research Center (NFRC) at Department of Soil Science, UAF.
In the absence of any technology transfer infrastructure in the UAF, Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation was registered with Government of Punjab to disseminate this technology to farmers of Punjab as well as other provinces in Pakistan. The project of EM-Technology dissemination which was signed between MINFAL, UAF and NFRDF of Pakistan and EMRO, INFRC and APNAN of Japan completed on August 21, 2001.
Therefore Dr. Tahir Hussain and his team of scientists decided to expand their activities in whole of the country. Consequently, new reactors were designed for the propagation of beneficial microorganisms. Since EM was trademark of EM Research Organization of Japan thus the technology was registered under the new name of "BM-Technology" in Pakistan where BM stands for "Beneficial Microorganisms". BM-Technology has now materialized four cultures namely BM-BIOAAB, BM-BIOPRIDE, BM-BIOVET, and BM-BIOCONTROL whereas BM-BIOFEED, BM-BIOKHAD, BM-BIOTRACE AND BM-BIOBLOCK are in the process of development.
Principal Microorganisms and their action in MB-Technology
Photosynthetic bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas spp.)
The photosynthetic or phototropic bacteria are a group of independent, self-supporting microbes. These bacteria synthesize useful substances from secretions of roots and organic matter by using sunlight and the heat of soil as sources of energy. The useful substances developed by these microbes include amino acids, nucleic acids, bioactive substances and sugars, all of which promote plant growth and productivity?
Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus spp.)
Lactobacilli produce lactic acid from sugars and other carbohydrates developed by photosynthetic bacteria and yeast. Lactic acid is a strong sterilizing compound as it suppresses harmful microorganisms and enhances decomposition of organic matter. Moreover, Lactic acid bacteria also promote the fermentation and decomposition of material such as lignin and cellulose, thereby removing undesirable effect of undecomposed organic matter. Lactic acid bacteria have the ability to suppress certain harmful microorganisms such as
Fusarium, which occur in continuous cropping programmes. Under normal circumstances, species such as Fusarium weaken crop plants, thereby exposing them to diseases and increased pest populations such as nematodes. The use of lactic acid bacteria reduces nematode population and controls propagation and spread of
Fusarium, thus producing a better environment for crop growth.
Yeast (Saccharomyces spp.)
Yeasts synthesize antimicrobial and other useful substances required for plant growth from amino acids and sugars secreted by Photosynthetic bacteria, organic matter and plant roots. The bioactive substances such as hormones and enzymes produced by yeast, promote active cell and root division. These secretions are also useful substrates for Beneficial Microorganisms such as Lactobicilli and
The beneficial microorganisms have been used in Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and to clean Environment around the world. In Pakistan Prof. Dr. Tahir
Hussain, introduced this technology in 1989. Several experiments were conducted in the Nature Farming Research Center, UAF before introducing it to the farmers.
It was after ten years of scientific experiments that BM-Products like,
BIOAAB, BIOPRIDE, BIOVET and BIOCONTROL were introduced to the farmers. Today thousands of farmers in Punjab and Sindh are producing crops, fruits and vegetables from this technology. Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation is disseminating this technology throughout the country. The above mentioned BM-Products are already being used by the farmers.
Application of BM in various fields
It has tremendous power to compost through fermentation process, all kinds of crop residues, green manures, animal manures, poultry manures, sugarcane filter cake and any biodegradable material into a high quality bio-fertilizer in a few days. BIOAAB is kept in the room or under shade and the lid must be closed. Avoid placing it under the sun. It could be used up to one year or as long as there is no bad smell.
How to prepare "Extended Bioaab": To extend one liter "Basic Bioaab"(the one you purchased from us) into Extended Bioaab (the one you shall prepare yourself), take about a 30 liter capacity plastic can and clean it thoroughly. Add 20 liter clean water in it. Add one liter molasses into the can and dissolve the molasses in the water by shaking.
Now add one liter basic Bioaab in the can. Shake well and close the lid and let the can stay in the room for three days. You can open the lid every 24 hours to release the gas. Now you have prepared yourself, 22 liters of extended Bioaab which is as powerful as the basic Bioaab you purchased from us. Thus the cost of Extended or
"Fazal" Bioaab comes out to be only Rs. 2 per liter and is the cheapest price of any agricultural material in the market. Kindly use this within 2 weeks.
Method of preparing Biokasht (Biofertilizer)
Spray 1% solution of Bioaab, on available organic matter resources (farmyard manure, poultry manure, Sugarcane Filter Cake, biodegradable garbage, crop residues etc.), mix it well and maintain temperature at 30 ºC and moisture at 30-40%. To prepare 1% solution take the required drum and add:
1. Water = 100 liters
2. Molasses = 1 kg (add in water before adding Bioaab and make solution)
3. Basic Bioaab = 1 liter
After preparing, use this extended culture as soon as possible. Approximately 400 liters of extended Bioaab will be required to prepare Bio fertilizer from one trolly or one tonne dry manure, (mixture of different kinds of manures make good fertilizer). Mix culture solution in manure thoroughly and make a ball by pressing the inoculated material in hand.
If the ball shatters when thrown on the ground then make a heap under shade in summer and outside in winter. At this stage there is about 30-40 % moister in the material. If it is too wet add more solid material and if it is too dry add extended Bioaab in it. Check the temperature after 3 days, if temperature is more than 45 °C (burn feeling to hand) spread it, make cool and cover again.
After 10 days in summer and around 15 days in winter, it will be converted into Biokasht (Fermented Manure). For quick preparation, use 5 liter Bioaab, 5 liter molasses and 100 liter of water and incubate manure for 7 days only. Now it is ready to be used in Fermenter or directly in the field @ 2-3 trolleys per acre or 10 t/ha before sowing of crops. (Use combination of Farmyard Manure (FYM), Poultry Manure (PM), Sugarcane Filter Cake (SFC) and crop residues for better results. In case Biokasht is needed urgently, use 10L Bioaab + 10 liter molasses and 100 L water and incubate the manure for 3 days only.
In irrigated areas, add prepared Biokasht in soil before plantation of crops @ 20t/ha. For plantation of fruit trees use Biokasht (5% of pit soil) in pit. BM enters in big particles of manure and can live for a longer time inspite of less water. In rainfed region, store Biokasht near the field and use it in rains.
Process of fertility will start and yield will increase. Use of Biokasht @ 2-3 trolleys for every crop and use of Fermenter water readily increase the soil fertility as well as yield of crops. It has been observed that the Fermenter water can be used after 24 hours if Biokasht is used instead of simple manure in the Fermenter.
The act of mixing fertilizers in irrigation water is called Biofertigation, whereas fermenter technology is a method in which organic manures are fermented in a tank attached to the watercourse where a part of the irrigation water passes through it and enriches the irrigation water with organic nutrient sources.
Advantages of Fermenter
1- Decrease in the expenditure of synthetic chemical fertilizers.
2- Equal distribution of fermented slurry of manures on the soil layer after layer.
3- Increase in the efficiency of chemical fertilizer.
4- Increase in water holding capacity of soil to the extent that soil maintains moisture for a longer period. This almost doubles the efficiency of the canal water.
5- Self sufficiency and an easy access to the supply of nutrients to plants as the nutrients and microorganisms go to the field with each irrigation.
6- The quickest method of decomposing the crop residue and consequently lowering the C:N ratio.
7- The fermenter system increases the organic matter in the soil thus improving physical, biological and chemical properties of the soil.
8- Saves expenses in human labor for transportation and spreading of the manure in the fields.
(A very low cost, on-farm fertilizer factory)
The farmers who have more area and less animal manure: can get immediate benefits through Fermenter Model by using even 1/4th of the animal manure required generally. For this purpose, build a cemented Fermenter (Tank) on the watercourse entering land or near the tubewell on your farm.
Do not make earthen Fermenter as the nutrients and metabolites can be leached. At the beginning and end point of the Fermenter make a one-foot `Nakka' (gate) as inlet and outlet for water. Also make a control `Nakka' in main watercourse between these two `Nakkas', to regulate the desired flow of water through the fermenter and build a wall one foot before outlet Nakka, having four opening of size (1½ x 1½) ft. underneath
to facilitate more passage to slurry.
Another alternative is to put 1½ ft high lintel under the wall for clean passage of slurry. The wall is necessary to force the slurry due to pressure through these openings. Now add some water and then FYM, PM or SFC alone or in combination up to 3 feet depth and fill the Fermenter with water and mix these well by `Trangli' (a light weight bamboo with iron bar at one end), break clods and add 200 litres of extended Bioaab (for the first time) prepared from 10 litres of basic Bioaab, mix it well.
To provide Bioaab constantly, place a drum with tap beside the Fermenter & pour into it Bioaab, molasses and water at the ratio of (1:1:20) so that extended Bioaab can be provided through tap into the Fermenter, when needed. Add extended Bioaab @ 22 liter per acre per irrigation into the Fermenter preferably 5-7 days before irrigation after you had added some more manure. Repeat this process every weak.
To manage salt affected soils and /or using brackish water for crop production use PM and SFC both in the Fermenter. To complete the fermenting process, leave this culture for 5-6 days. For better results add 100 kg chopped green fodder or grass every week in Fermenter. Now irrigate through this Fermenter after seven days.
Only 1/10th of water will pass automatically through the Fermenter while rest will pass directly to field. Keep on stirring the Fermenter with " Trangli " after 1/2 hour's interval to make sure that slurry and not clean water passes through the fermenter. In this way irrigate 12½ acres. Add some manure in Fermenter after irrigation and add extended Bioaab at the rate of 22 liter/ acre/ irrigation into the Fermenter.
Leave it till the next irrigation and repeat this process. If watercourses are earthen (Kacha), then build one Fermenter for every 12½ acres. If watercourses are cemented, more then one Fermenter can be built at the same place.
Size of Fermenter
For 12½ acres the size of the fermenter is 20 feet in length, 10 feet in width and 5 feet in depth and the partition wall is 2 feet ahead of the last wall. For 25 acres make 2 such fermenters.
NOTE: The wall in the Fermenter with openings at the base, play an important role to push the slurry out with extra advantage of minimum shaking in Fermenter. Inlet and outlet "nakkas" should be constructed 6 inches above the bottom of the watercourse to prevent silt entering from the watercourse to the Fermenter. Fermenter is undoubtedly a fertilizer factory on your farm, which can tremendously improve the quality of your soil for a sustainable agriculture.
B-Super Fermenter Model
To get better results, continuously add manure and urine of animals through drain into the Fermenter if animals are made to stand on a sloopy plate-farm near the Fermenter as shown in (Fig-1-B). If 2 ml Biovet per liter of drinking water is given to animals daily, there will be no bad smell from animal dung and urine, due to the enhanced fermentation taking place in their stomach due to Biovet.
Their fresh dung that is not useable in crops immediately can now be used through Fermenter system. Every week add 200 litres extended Bioaab prepared from 10 litres of Basic Bioaab, in the Fermenter. It becomes a Super-Fermenter. Moreover, add 100 kg of chopped green grass/fodder in Fermenter every week.
Fermenter is a tested and highly successful innovation. Many countries have approved it due to less labour cost and better use of animal dung. Through super Fermenter, dung and urine can be provided to crops in a short time by automatic system. The urine of animals is very rich in potassium.
It is a highly effective method for all kinds of crops, vegetables, orchards, forests, fish etc. Infact, "Fermenter is a fertilizer factory at farmer's field". Fermenter slurry of SFC is much more effective for soil fertility improvement as it contains 2.04 % Nitrogen, 4.18 % Phosphorus Pentaoxide, (P2O5), 0.74% Potassium Oxide (K2O), 6.25% Sulphur, 1 % Sugar and other nutrients that are important for crop growth along with 30% organic matter.
To get SFC, kindly contact your nearest sugar mill. The author has written several requests to the Sugar Mills of Pakistan to give free SFC to all their sugarcane growers who have constructed Fermenters or can prepare Biokasht as this will increase the quality / productivity of soil. The sugarcane thus grown will have very little water contents and the juice will concentrate which will not only make the sugarcane heavy but also increase sugar percentage in the cane irrespective of variety grown.
Most of the sugar mills have responded to my request and have arranged my lectures to the growers and are also giving SFC free to their growers. Some one even giving loans
to build Fermenters.
The Nature Farming Research Center has developed a new microbial culture containing a very important photosynthetic bacteria which can utilize 80% of the sun light (which could not be utilized by green plants as food) and can convert the organic matter present in the soil into amino acids. Thus the results have shown remarkable yield increase in sugarcane, maize, potato, fodder gardens and vegetables.
How to use it
1- At least 10 liters of Biopride per acre per crop should be added with the soaking or first irrigation by just dripping into the water. Make sure that you have added any kind of manure organic matter in the soil for quick results.
2- One liter of Biopide plus one liter of Bioaab added to 500 liters of water can be sprayed. The easy formula is as follows:
Volume of spray tank in liters X 2 = ml or cc
16 lit. X 2 = 32 ml or cc.
Take 32 ml from the mixture of (Biopride + Bioaab) in the 16 liter tank and fill the tank with clean water and spray on the crop, when finished, may repeat similarly until the desired area is sprayed.
This is a botanical pesticide prepared by extracting alkaloids from various medicinal plants by the microorganisms. The mode of action is the stomach killing of insect/pests.
How to spray: As soon as you see the attack of insects/pests, spray the crop with Biocontrol at the rate of 1 liter diluted to 500 times with water which means 2 X volume of spray tank in liter = cc or ml of biocontrol added to spray tank full of water. In case the attack is serious, spray biocontrol once every day for 3 consecutive days.
For vegetables and fruits, pre attack sprays of Biocontrol are also recommended to avoid any sudden attack of insects /pests. Biocontrol can also be added by dripping one liter per acre in irrigation water for control of borers and other root diseases of crops.
Address: Dr. Tahir Hussain, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Hon: President, Nature Farming Research & Development Foundation, (NFRDF)
41-X-101, Susan Road, Madina Town, Faisalabad,
Tel: 041-614335, 9200193, 733323, 733332
Fax: 041-614335, 733323
Mobile No. 0303-7651666