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Inoculated Rhizobia bacteria to increase legume yields

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Sven Torfinn/Panos

 

Nitrogen-fixing tech aiding legume yields in Zimbabwe

Speed read

  • Smallholders are unable to afford fertilisers to increase crop yields
  • In Zimbabwe, use of low-cost fertiliser tech is increasing legume yields
  • At least 60,000 smallholders are using the technology

A low-cost nitrogen fixing technology for legume crops is being given to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to improve national food and nutrition security.

The Chemistry and Soil Research Institute in Zimbabwe is distributing sachets that contain inoculated Rhizobia bacteria — a technique for adding bacteria to a carrier medium to improve biological nitrogen fixation — to farmers for increased yields and affordable organic fertilisers.

Emmanuel Chikwari, head of the institute, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, says this process is useful for meeting the nitrogen requirements of legume plants.

“This is a promising technology in the production of legume crops,” says Chikwari. “The inoculants can be added to the seed before planting.”

Nitrogen, he explains, is essential for photosynthesis, a process whereby plants make their own food in the presence of water, sunshine and carbon dioxide for vigorous growth and increased yields.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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