Significance of Bio-fertilizer in Fruit Production
Authors: Praveen Kumar Mishra1* Mritunjay Tripathi2 and Akhand Pratap Pandey2*
1. *Deptt. of Horticulture (Fruit & Fruit Technology), B.A.U., Sabour, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India, 813210.
2. ICARNRC on Litchi , Mushahari Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, 842002.


Bio-fertilizers are beneficial microorganisms that can release nutrients from raw materials and plant residues in the soil. Bio means living and fertilizers mean a product which supply the nutrient in usable form. It is also known as microbial inoculants or bio-inoculants (Bhattacharya, 2013). The National Standard of Organic Production (NSOP, APEDA) authorize bio-fertilizer which is produced by microbes. Bio-fertilizers are microbial inoculants of bacteria, algae and fungi (separately or in combination) or carrier based living microorganism which stimulating the plant growth with the synthesis of growth-promoting substances through fixing of nitrogen; solubilising and mobilizing of available phosphorus in the soil and other nutrient mobilization to enhance crop productivity, quality as well as soil fertility in disparity of organic farming. However, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients are considerably enhancing the soil fertility by maintaining the physical properties of the soil (Mosa, et al. 2014). It can be used with seed, plant surfaces or in soil which colonizes the rhizosphere and promotes growth of plant by increasing the availability of primary nutrients to the host plant. Bio-fertilizer are encouraging substitutes of synthetically (chemical) produced fertilizers in current time due to lesser prices in contrast of chemical fertilizers. Such types of fertilizers are eco-friendly and safe for human, animals due to decreases of pollution which stirring in our surroundings by the sightless exercise of chemical fertilizers. It is one of the best modern tools for sustainable fruit production and makes an important component of integrated nutrient management due to its cost effectiveness and renewable source of plant nutrients.

Requirement of Bio-fertilizers

§ To ensure nutrient necessity of fruit trees.

§ Continuous massive utilization of chemical fertilizers gradually shrinks the yield and significantly affected the water, air and soil health.

§ Excessive synthetic fertilization degraded the entire eco-system.

§ Huge power supply needed to manufacturing chemical fertilizers.

Table: 1 Difference between synthetic fertilizers and bio-fertilizers

Characteristics Synthetic fertilizers Bio-fertilizers
Process Chemical Biological
Raw materials Fossil fuels; based on non-renewable energy sources Atmospheric N for N fixers, unavailable P for PSM and VAM-based on renewable energy sources
Efficiency N fertilizers : 40-45% P fertilizers : 25-33% >=90%
Losses N due to leaching volatilization and denitrification and P due to fixation Negligible
Cost of production High level of cost input Low level of cost input
Long term effects Deteriorates the soil health Improves soil health, Eco-friendly for environment.
Irrigation More useful to irrigated crops Useful for both irrigated and rainfed crops

Efficient amounts and procedure

Ø Azotobacter :109 viable cells/g of carrier

Ø Azospirillum :108-109 viable cells/g of carrier

Ø VA-mycorrhizae : 230-300 viable spore/g of soil

Procedure of Bio-fertilizer use

There are three procedures of Bio-fertilizer utilization.

1. Seed treatment: Bio-fertilizer is mixed with seed, water and adhesive material and dried for half an hour before sowing. Usually, 500 g of bio-fertilizers is needed for treatment of seeds which will sufficient for one hectare land.

2. Sapling treatment: Slurry of bio-fertilizer is prepared and saplings are dipped for 15 minutes after that remove the sapling from slurry for their drying and then saplings are ready to transplant.

3. Soil application: Approximately 2 kg of bio-fertilizer are combined with 40-50 kg of well rotten FYM and then broadcasting at the time of sowing/prior to sowing .

Merits of bio-fertilizers

· These are the renewable source of nutrients and alternative supplement just because of replacing 25-30% chemical fertilizers.

· It required very tiny amount as compared to chemical fertilizers and also helpful in maintaining of soil health.

· It increase yield under both irrigated and rain-fed condition without any adverse effect on plant growth and soil fertility.

· These are supportive in early degradation of plant residue and stabilize C: N ratio, Improves texture, structure and water holding capacity of soil.

· Solubilise and mobilise nutrients and also stimulates plant growth by secreting plant hormones

· Secretes fungi static and antibiotic like substances and act as bio-pesticides.

· Eco-friendly, non-pollutants and cost effective method without risk.


Ø Developing strains of bacteria which can withstand high temperature, alkali conditions, acid resistant and high pH tolerant.

Ø Produce antibiotics in the soil or any chemicals which can fix nitrogen in the presence of added nitrogen that can increase nitrogen fixing efficiency

Ø Efforts to mass multiply mycorrhizae in a large quantity using lighter carrier material should be intensified.

Ø PCR techniques should be standardized to identify mycorrhizal colonization within plant roots using different species specific primers.

Table: 2 Effect of Bio-fertilizer in fruit crops

S. N. Fruit crops Bio-fertilizer combination Effect of treatments References
1. Grapevine Rhizobium and Azotobacter Improving nutritional status of trees, yield, physical and chemical properties El-Naggar, A.M.A., 2004
2. Mango (cv. Amrapali) 100% NPK + Azotobacter + vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza and 75% NPK + Azotobacter + vesicular- arbuscular mycorrhiza improve the vegetative growth and productivity with quality fruits Kundu et al., 2011
3. Guava (cv. Sardar) Neem cake + vermicompost + Azotobacter + phosphorous solubilizers + potash mobilizers Farm yard manure + Azotobacter + phosphorous solubilizers + potash mobilizers Poultry manure + Azospirillum + phosphorous solubilizers + potash mobilizers showed 100% N + 100% P2O5+Azospirillium + PSB + 10 kg vermicompost Higher fruit weight Increased number of fruit and yield Improved total soluble solids (TSS) and Total sugars Maximum increase in plant height, canopy spread, fruit retention, fruit weight and improved biochemical contents Devi et al., 2012 Binepal et al., 2013
4. Plum and Sour cherry Mycorrhizal fungi Higher fruit yield Swierczynski and Stachowiak , 2010
5. Peach Arbuscular mycorrhizas Improve growth performance and part nutrient acquisition Wu, et al., 2011


1. Bhatacharya, P. (2013). Biofertilizer in Indian Agriculture, Geography and You, New Delhi, 13: 26-30.

2. Mosa, W.F.A.E.-G., Paszt, L.S. and EL-Megeed, N.A.A. (2014). The Role of Bio-Fertilization in Improving Fruits Productivity-A Review. Advances in Microbiology, 4, 1057-1064.

3. El-Naggar, A.M.A. (2004). Effect of Organic Farming on Drip Irrigation Grapevine and Soil Chemical Properties. Proceeding of the 2 nd International Conference of Agriculture, Nasr City, 25-27 March 2004, 117-128.

4. Kundu, S., Datta, P., Mishra, J., Rashmi, K. and Ghosh, B. (2011). Influence of Biofertilizer and Inorganic Fertilizer in Pruned Mango Orchard cv. Amrapali. Journal of Crop and Weed, 7, 100-103.

5. Devi, H.L., Mitra, S.K. and Poi, S.C. (2012). Effect of Different Organic and Biofertilizer Sources on Guava (Psidium guajava L.) “Sardar”. Acta Horticulturae, 959, 201-208.

6. Swierczynski, S. and Stachowiak, A. (2010). The Influence of Mycorrhizal Fungi on the Growth and Yielding of Plum and Sour Cherry Trees. Journal of Fruit and Ornamental Plant Research, 18, 71-77.

7. Wu, Q.S., Li, G.H. and Zou, Y.N. (2011). Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Growth and Nutrient Acquisitionof Peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) Seedlings. The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, 21, 746-750.

8. Binepal, M. K. Tiwari, R. and Kumawat, B.R. (2013). Integrated approach for nutrient management in guava cv. L-49 under Malwa Plateau conditions of Madhya Pradesh. International Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9 (2): 467-471.

About Author / Additional Info:
Ph. D. Scholar in Fruit Science at BAU Sabour, Bhagalpur, Bihar