Microbial and Organic Fertilizers in Asia

Tom Miles

Microbial and Organic Fertilizers in Asia

In the past few decades, chemical fertilizers have come into widespread use throughout the Asian and Pacific region. This strong focus on chemical fertilizer use has meant that the soil has tended to be regarded as an inert medium for plant roots, rather than as a living biosphere in which the crop is only one of hundreds or thousands of interacting species. However, it is now realized that in fields under intensive monoculture which receive heavy applications of chemical fertilizers alone, there is a slow decline in productivity. This decline occurs even inirrigated paddy fields.

In the light of these problems, we are beginning to see agriculture in a new perspective. Modern agriculture is seen, not just as a series of a technical problems for human beings to solve, but as a process which has a long-term effect on the environment. This effect must be a beneficial one if agriculture is to be sustainable in the long term. The use of organic fertilizers and microbial materials is an important part of this new attempt to make agriculture a viable part
of a healthy ecosystem.