India is an agriculture-based country. It’s an excellent source of raw materials like fertile soil, prevailing climatic conditions, perennial water resources, and the monsoon showers guarantee excellent geography for the farmer to undergo cultivation and to get good returns. During the 20th century, a major contributor to India’s GDP was the primary sector(>50%), that includes agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries. But now the trend has changed, that contributes only 17%.
Nowadays India is in pace towards development, and other sectors like the secondary and tertiary sectors started to show up. Youth are getting well educated, and find more interest in the IT sectors, Government also focuses and funds more to these sectors, which gradually attracts our youth to turn to these areas. Farming also makes several challenges, as the crops are more vulnerable to pests and diseases, adverse weather conditions, that make the farmer not to rely completely on them, so they find alternate jobs that secure their income. So several types of research are going to improve crop production, and to make the agriculture more sustainable. Nutri-seed technology aims to improvise the crop growth through adequate and timely application of fertilizers.
WHAT IS NUTRI-SEED PACK TECHNOLOGY?
The important factor that determines yield is the timely application of fertilizer and to provide irrigation at their critical growth periods. Farming nowadays is becoming more mechanised, due to labour scarcity. The right concentration of fertilizer is also important as it can deteriorate the soil and crop health. This technology brings out a solution to this problem.
The Nutri-seed pack is technology released by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), a cylindrical assembly that measures 1.2×5.0cm. It consists of a bioinoculant treated seed, pellets of enriched manure& fertilizer, fungicides and some micronutrients that are arranged layer by layer within this cylindrical assembly. This assembly is usually wrapped with a degradable polyester coated paper that having nano-sized pores. This facilitates the entry of water and slow release of nutrients with the response of water entry.
Normally the fertilizers are broadcasted which can fail to reach the root zone of plants. Also to reduce the loss of straight fertilizers, they are recommended for split application, especially urea. Potassium and phosphorus are even though they are highly soluble, they are applied basally at the time of sowing. But these fertilizers may find difficult to reach to the root zone as different soils have different solubility and kinetics. Sometimes they may also get vaporized, so in this method, we are placing our pack deep near to plants root zone, so as soon as the water is provided with the nutrients are readily absorbed by the plant.
Another major advantage is that the seeds provided in each pack are the treated ones. So the farmer no longer has to search for quality seeds, apart from it a single pack contains only a one seed, so it can also reduce seed rates when compared to other traditional methods like broadcasting.
Pelleting of fertilizers and manures can be done by using the above machine. Researches are still going on, and it is not yet commercialized.
- Adequate release of fertilizers and fungicides in response to irrigation.
- Less labour intensive, and is required only at the time of sowing.
- No additional fertilizer application is required as the provided amount can feed the plant from the time of sowing to the day of the harvest
- The wrapper used is also biodegradable, as it will persist only up to 6 months, which may dissolve into the soil along with crop harvesting.so it is environmentally friendly.
- Fertilizer use efficiency is also high as the nutrients are readily available near the root zone.
- Treated and quality seeds are provided inside the pack that ensures better germination.
- Not suitable for all types of plant
- Not suitable for transplanted crops.
Since it has few drawbacks like,not suitable for various crops,researches are undertaking. Till today, experiments have been done on marigold, cauliflower, tomato, carnation, even on directly sown rice. And it’s production is also not yet commercialized. Since it is having a larger advantage over the few odds,this technology can be the future, ruling farmer’s feilds all over the world.
Originally posted on "MEDIUM".