Bio-fertilizers as key player in enhancing soil fertility and crop productivity
Plants nutrients are essential for the production of crops and healthy food for the world’s ever increasing population. Soil management strategies today are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which cause a serious threat to human health and the environment. Bio-fertilizer has been identified as an alternative for increasing soil fertility and crop production in sustainable farming. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as bio-fertilizers has become of paramount importance in agricultural sector due to their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. Bio-fertilizer can be an important component of integrated nutrients management. Microorganisms that are commonly used as bio-fertilizer components include;nitrogen fixers potassium and phosphorus solubilizers, growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo and ecto mycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and other useful microscopic organisms. The use of bio-fertilizers leads to improved nutrients and water uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic factors. These potential biological fertilizers would play a key role in productivity and sustainability of soil and also in protecting the environment as eco-friendly and cost effective inputs for the farmers.