The Biofertilizer Laboratory is responsible for carrying out the Biofertilizer Technology Project. This resulted from a Joint Technical Agreement between the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. It involves technology transfer, training of personnel and research and development in biofertilizer technology. Its aims are:
- To improve national capability in the technology of production, application and validation of biofertilizers to promote the nutrition, yield quality and marketability of food crops in T&T.
- To improve food production and security via environmentally sustainable agricultural practices
Biofertilizers are products containing efficient species of beneficial soil microorganisms which are known to improve plant growth. Beneficial soil microorganisms may include, but are not limited to species such as mycorrhizas, rhizobium, bradyrhizobium, azosipirillum, azotobacter and bluegreen algae. These form associations with plants and may supply nutrients and growth promoting substances or be involved in biological nitrogen fixation.
Biofertilizers are environmentally friendly and provides a sustainable means of managing crop nutrition and can ameliorate some of the widespread deficiencies in crops and soil. Biofertilizers can replace a percentage of the crop nutrient requirement normally supplied by chemical fertilizers thereby reducing the economic limitations imposed by the high cost of these fertilizers. Once developed, biofertilizers are relatively inexpensive to produce and its agronomic applications are well within scope of subsistence farmers.
The Biofertilizer Laboratory is presently conducting research aimed at developing biofertilizer products containing indigenous species of mycorrhizas and rhizobium. Technical assistance is provided through periodic visits by Biofertilizer Consultants from Mexico.
Biofertilizer Consultant initiating experimental trial to evaluate mycorrhizal accessions