Indigenous Microorganisms for sustainable Agricultural production
By Nicholas Lokuya Emmanuel
Indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) is a group of innate microbial consortium that includes important bacteria, virus, plasmids and fungi that inhibits the soil and the surfaces of all living things inside and outside which have the potentiality in biodegradation, nitrogen fixation. They solubilise phosphate; improve soil fertility and plant growth. Today there is an alarming issue of soil infertility, environmental degradation and health concerns of non communicable diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure among others which are attributed to excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other agro inputs derived from fossil fuels used by farmers and agro dealers.
The high cost of the chemical products and their harmful effect in environmental legacy has been a driving force towards this innovation. Farmers in our beloved country should really adopt IMO technology for sustainable Agriculture, wealth creation and environmental conservation.
Steps taken when preparing IMOs
Get any starch food like posho, rice, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas among others. Basically, this starchy food contains carbohydrates (mono and polysaccharides) which are energy giving food for these microbes.
Steam up the starchy foods (for posho you mingle it), allow it to cool on a wooden plate or banana leaves then smash the food and make balls out it using hands, this balls are basically made to increase the surface area to volume ratio for the microbes to anchor.
In about 1 kg of smashed food, add 1 tea spoonful of common salt to lower the potential hydrogen ions (pH) so as to inhibit non beneficial microbes from causing bad reactions which includes rotting and decay of the food rather than beneficial fermentation.
Put the rolled balls in a mosquito net and tie it well. We use mosquito net because of its perforations which allows the beneficial microbes from the environment to easily access the food.
Identify a place preferably under a tree or a forest where there is high surface coverage with organic matter, as a myth, it is believed that huge number of microorganisms stay in such a place, dig a hole of about 1 feet deep of any length and width then put the food into the hole and cover it completely to avoid invasion by other predators such as dogs. The buried material should stay for about a week to fully ferment.
After seven days unearth the food material, a pleasant smell indicates success and a foul smell indicates failure so discard such. Remove the soil which is attached to the food material then get the balls with IMOs put them in a ceramic bucket smash them and add a quarter 1/4kg of sugar basically to provide additional energy for the microbial activities during storage.
Leave it in the bucket for about a week then it will be ready for use.
How to apply the IMO’s in piggery
The farmer should get dry grass and put in the pig sty about ½ m high, then he should get a kilo of IMO’s and mix it thoroughly in 20 litres of water and sprinkle it on the dry grass, leave it to stay for a week then introduce your pigs.
The IMOs will feed on the pig dung and remove all the ammonia and the bad small from the pigsty, it will also act on the dry grass making it palatable for the pig consume and recycle its waste. Many studies also reveal that the IMO’s good natural antibiotics which inhibits biotic infections.
Today with the use of IMOs technology in pig production, pig farmers are able to rear pigs in urban areas because of the reduced smell from the pigsty and also minimization of feeds since pigs are able to recycle their waste.
How to apply the IMOs in latrines
Get 1 kilo of IMOs, mix it thoroughly in 20 litres of clean water then carefully pour it into the latrine making sure that it spread all over the corners of the latrine in order to attain the desired outcome. The IMOs will act on the faeces, the results will be reducing the content in the latrine and also smell.
The writer is an Agriculturist and can be reached through: 0924648973, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org