The use of excessive chemical fertilizers and pesticides have decreased soil microbial life and upset the balance between soil microbes and plants, negatively impacting plant nutrition, production and soil health. Biofertilizers hold the potential to revive soil biology and increase farmers’ current agricultural productivity, while at the same time contributing to the soil’s ability to produce more in the future. This article is part of a larger Université de Montréal study conducted with the support of Mitacs and Earth Alive Clean Technologies. The responses of farmers using and not using biofertilizers, manufacturers or suppliers of biofertilizers, and research and development scientists are captured to build cases of how microbial products (biologicals) prove to be advantageous when applied in field crops. The agronomic advantage of biofertilizers compared to conventional chemical fertilizers is well proved biologically and in economic terms. The farmers interviewed stated their preference of biofertilizers over chemical fertilizers. However, production and distribution of biofertilizers are inadequate compared to the demand for them. Studies need to be pursued to understand reasons for the supply gaps and the slow growth of biofertilizers in the agriculture sector of India and methods of linking them to farmers’ preferences in order to advance protections of soil and plants in India.
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