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IISR’s biocapsule a hit during lock down period

IISR’s biocapsule a hit during lock down period

Biocapsule, a biofertilizer technology developed by the ICAR- Indian Institute of Spices Research, has become an instant hit among the farmer community. The capsule that could be a game changer in agriculture, witnessed an all-time high sale after the National-lock down in March-
April period.


The demand for the organic supplement for fertilizers witnessed a spike from May. The latest
IISR figures show that as many as 4000 capsules were sold in May alone. The average sale of the
capsule per month before the lock down period was only 400.‘Biocapsules is a revolutionary technology that ensures the successful delivery of biologically competent beneficial microbes,” said Dr. Santhosh J Eapen, director, IISR.The scientists at IISR consider this trend a positive
one as the use of biocapsule plays vital role in maintaining soil fertility and productivity.

 

Besides,the capsules can also improve soil quality and environment quality.The total number of capsules sold from May to August is about 6000. There were farmers who even purchased about 1000 capsules together.Over 1000 farmers spreading across Kerala,Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh,Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and North East states including Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are using the biocapsules.

House hold cultivation of vegetables, grow bag cultivation of ginger and turmeric have witnessed
increase after lock down period. With the lockdown, many farmers including youngsters from spice sector and other sectors have started making use of this advanced microbial delivery
technique.The bio-capsule, as the name indicates, uses beneficial micro-organisms including

Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, Bacillus etc. Unlike the traditional microbial formulations,encapsulation makes it easy to store, use and transport, while maintaining high microbial count.One capsule can be diluted using 100-200 litres water based on the micro-organism present in the capsule.According to scientists at IISR, 4000 capsules is equivalent to 4000kg talc based formulation of micro-organisms. As one capsule weighs only 1gram a farmer can easily replace 4 tonne of formulation with 4 kg capsules.The capsule developed by the IISR is the first of its kind among Biofertilizers and is in huge demand among farmers across the country. IISR licensees are manufacturing bio capsules with different micro-organisms to meet the  requirement. Two private firms have been licensed to produce the capsules.A noticeable trend is that traditional farmers and young and trained farmers have started using bio-capsules as this method is very cost effective. It does not contain any harmful residuals. Besides,the use of chemical fertilisers/ pesticides can be minimized.This novel encapsulation technology was
developed by a team led by Dr. M Anandaraj,former director of ICAR- IISR, Kozhikode.

The patent process for this technology is in the final phase.

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