Agriculture occupies the most crucial place in India. It provides largest employment to the people with as much as 70 % of our total population for livelihood. The agricultural policies in past bore fruits as the country achieved the first Green revolution making it self- sufficient in food grains. India needs to increase the food production at the rate of 500 million tons per year to feed the population increasing at the rate of 2.1 % per year as against the world average of 1.33% per year. By 2025, the population of India will be >1500 million. On the other hand, the country has 182 million ha of land cultivation and total crop area under multiple cropping is 213 million ha. Now, there is no room available to increase cultivable land or crop area any more. Therefore, the promotion of agriculture need to upshot only by innovative and sustainable technology through cautious approach in using fertilizers. Taking into account the past experience, present situation in the country and global economic scenario, it is imperative to achieve the second green revolution.
Presently, India is recognized as the 4th largest user of chemical fertilizer (11.4- 12.2 mmt of NPK) on global scale. The chemical fertilizer inputs in agriculture has rendered India self reliance in terms of its food requirement for the population. On the contrary, its indiscriminate application over a long period has perched the deleterious impact on desirable physicochemical structure of soil and declined beneficial microbial flora leading to reduce agro-productivity. Apparently, this situation can be ameliorated through the application of biofertilizers or biopesticides so as to reduce dependence on chemical fertilizers.
Biofertilizers are rhizospheric latent or living microbes of different types, synergistically adopted to their local micro environs, having an ability to mobilize non soluble to usable nutrients through biological process, which facilitate sustained availability of multiple nutrients and plant protectants from soil to plants in easily, accelerated and assimilable forms for promoting plant growth. In turn, photoassemilates exuded by root system help for the sustenance of biofertilizers.
Biotechnology products like biofertilizer and biopesticide are harnessed from renewable energy sources, cheaper and environment friendly. Biofertilizers can play a very significant role in improving soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen, under free living condition and in association with plant root nodules. These microbes solubilize insoluble soil phosphates and produce plant growth substance in the soil. Biofertilizers are very important source for augmenting the nutrient supplies for plants by virtue of fixing atmospheric nitrogen and solubilizing/mobilizing soil nutrients; they are accepted as key component of the Integrated Plant Nutrient System (IPNS).