Role of effective microorganisms in agriculture
The human population is increasing day by day and it will lead to the intensification of existing agricultural systems. The agricultural production is high due to the immense use of artificial chemicals but it deteriorates our environment. The environmentally friendly effective microorganisms (EM) have large number of benefits when they are applied as manure or spray to the field crops. The Effective Microorganism (EM) technology was developed at University of the Ryukus, Okinawa, Japan, in the 1980s by Prof. Dr. Teru Higa. He had worked on the excessive use of chemicals, and then he realized the harmful effects of these chemicals on human kind and environment. Thus he developed a mixture of beneficial microorganism and he also reported that approximately 80 different types of microorganism are able to decompose organic matter.
Different types of bacteria are responsible to prepare EM solutions like Photosynthetic bacteria; they produced amino acids, nucleic acids, sugars and bioactive substances form the secretion of roots, and organic matter by using sunlight and the heat of soil as the source of energy. Azotobactor; improves the nitrogen fixing ability of crop plants. Lactic acid bacteria; produces lactic acid from sugars. They also have the ability to destroy the harmful microorganism. Under, continuous cropping system fusarium (mould) quickly propagates and it creates disease problem. Lactic acid producing bacteria are used to effectively control the fausarim problem in crop plants. Yeasts provide antimicrobial and useful substances for plant growth from amino acids and sugars that are secreted by photosynthetic bacteria. Actinomycetes are antimicrobial substances if it can coexist with photosynthetic bacteria it increase the soil quality and also antimicrobial activity. Fermenting Fungi is responsible for rapidly decomposition of organic matter (Aspergillus and Penicillium) and it can also produce alcohol and esters. These fermenting fungi suppress odor and prevent infestation of harmful insects and maggots.
It will improve soil and enable the plants to take up the food from the soil. It also makes plant stronger and vigor. EM can also be used with alcohol and natural vinegar to make an organic spray for pest control and disease suppression. EM improves soil structure, enhance germination, improves growth of crops, enhance photosynthesis, it helps to control weeds, insects, diseases and ultimately yield increase. The EM technology also increases fruit production and its quality in horticultural crops. It can also improve the quality of all types of manures i.e. animal manure, poultry manure, solid waste, litter, kitchen waste, green leaves, grass etc. the EM increases the population of microbes in the rhizosphere of plants. It minimizes the salinity hazard of groundwater used for irrigation purposes. EM conducts sustainable organic farming comparable to farming with synthetic fertilizers.
In horticultural crops fruits are a best source of vitamins and minerals, but insecticide sprays can be dangerous for human health as the insecticide (poison) accumulates in the upper most layers of fruit. The EM technology has made it possible to grow fruits without insecticides. The application of EM in various forms helps to Increase the microbial population where applied, accelerates decomposition of organic matter and unlocks nutrients, improves and maintains the porosity of the soil under the canopy of fruit trees. It also maintains the pH and fertility of soil.
Rearing of animals is always accompanied due to its unpleasant smell; liquid storage and solid waste, their handling and management can be a problem to farmers. The application of EM helps to eliminate distinctive smell from livestock, poultry and stud farms.
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