Microbial Solutions

Animals, particularly ruminants’ host a variety of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and single-celled animals called protozoa) which digest cellulose, lignin and other plant material. This makes a whole new energy source available to the animals. There’s a lot of energy in cellulose, but most animals are simply unable to digest it because they don’t have the necessary enzymes.

This property of these enzymes secreted by the organisms to digest plant material is what is used in composting and other processes.

Among the microorganisms present in the dung all may not be useful for agriculture and similarly all may not survive outside the animal gut. The microorganisms which are culturable outside animal gut and are useful for the agriculture can be used for agriculture.

Among these beneficial microorganisms which can be cultured the following properties can be seen

  1. cellulose, lignin and other material digesting bacteria which aid in composting
  2. plant growth promoting bacteria like IAA (Indole Acetic Acid),
  3. Nutrient fixing and mobilising like nitrogen fixation, Phosphorus solubulising, ammonia production etc
  4. Anti fungal activity

The microorganisms present in the dung can be cultured by adding suitable nutrients. There are number of indigenous products like Jeevamrit, Panchagavya, Amritjal developed based on these principles.

The microorganisms present in the dung varies mostly based on the food they eat rather than breed. Even all the microorganisms present in the dung cannot be cultured. For agricultural purposes, culturable beneficial microorganisms are important. Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and many other organisations have done such studies to see if there is any big difference in the microbial content between different breeds of animals. The differences were observed based on the food they eat. The foraging and fodder based animals have more useful bacteria (as they are used in digesting the food animal eats) while the stall fed, feed based animals may have lesser diversity of microorganisms.  Lactating animals may have additional enzymes which non lactating or male animals may lack.

Based on this we suggest people to use

  1. dung from any animal (cow, ox, buffalo, desi or crossbred). Prefer animals which are foraging and feed on the green/dry organic matter than on grain or concentrates.
  2. management of desi animals is easy as they are small in size, low in input requirement.
  3. managing cow is easier compared to buffalo as cow has a thicker skin and manage their body temperature easily. Buffaloes on the contrary have thinner skin and cannot manage their body temperature. Either they have to be kept in huts/shed which provide shade or they tend to go and rest in water bodies/mud etc.

a. A study report by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture on indigenous microbial cultures

b. A study by University of Agriculture Sciences Bangalore

c. A study report by Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS), Chennai

d. A critical review of panchagavya

e. Validation of ancient liquid organics panchagavya and koonapajal

f. Effects of cow dung and urine on yield of maize

g. Biochemical analysis of Panchagavya and Sanjibani and their effect in crop yield and soil health

h. Biofertilizer Potential of Traditional and Panchagavya Amended with Seaweed Extract

To be updated.

I. Effect of liquid organic manure ‘Jeevamrit’ on the productivity of wheat under ZBNF

To be updated.

J. Comparative studies on effectiveness of FYM, dung, slurry and urine of Indian cow on microbial status of soil and yield of fenugreek

To be updated.

k. Folk Liquid Manures for Sustainable Horticulture

l. Evaluation of microbial culture (Jeevamrit) preparation and its effect on field crops

To be updated.

m. Bio-enhancers A potential tool to improve soil fertility, plant health in organic production of horticultural crops

To be updated

o. Production and microbial analysis of Jeevamrutham for Nitrogen fixers and Phosphate solubilizers in the rural area from Maharashtra.