The role of effective microorganisms in agriculture.

As we have mentioned in a wide variety of articles on agricultural ecosystems, soil microorganisms play a fundamental role in the decomposition of organic matter to transform them into easily assimilated components for plants. When managing agroecosystems under the approach of conventional agriculture, it has caused the functional biodiversity of said ecosystems to decrease and, therefore, a series of alternatives have been established to maintain said biodiversity, among the many alternatives is a technique known as effective microorganisms, which we will talk about in this publication.

Imagen de dominio público tomada de Commons.wikimedia

The aforementioned technology of efficient microorganisms emerged a little more than 20 years ago in Japan according to certain bibliographic references at Ryukyus University, Okinawa, this technique is based on a mixture of microorganisms that includes four main genera, which are found in almost all ecosystems, they are: Photosynthetic Bacteria, Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeasts and Fermentation Fungi. According to Higa (1994), these microorganisms when they come into contact with organic matter secrete beneficial substances such as vitamins, organic acids, chelated minerals and mainly antioxidant substances; through their action they change the micro and macroflora of the soils and improve the natural balance of these.

The use of this technique stands out in organic and ecological agricultural systems, hence it is a promising alternative to achieve high yields, even higher than conventional agriculture, in a sustainable way over time since it enhances natural processes and does not interfere in a negative way on the environment. The creator of this technique, Dr. Higa, indicated that each of the species contained in the MS Photosynthetic Bacteria, Lactic Acid, Yeasts, Actinomycetes and Fermentation fungi has its own important function. However, he also pointed out that photosynthetic bacteria are the basis of technology, as they support the activities of other microorganisms, and use for themselves various substances produced by other microorganisms.

The same author points out that when efficient microorganisms develop as a community within the soil, the same thing also happens with the native microorganisms of those soils, for this reason, the microflora is enriched and the microbial ecosystem begins to balance while the percentage of pathogens decreases, thus the diseases produced by the soils are suppressed through the process known as exclusive competition. In these processes, the roots of plants also produce useful substances such as carbohydrates, amino acids, organic acids and enzymes that can be used by microorganisms to develop. In the same way during this process microorganisms also secrete substances and provide amino acids, nucleic acids, and a large amount of vitamins and hormones to plants, for this reason in these soils efficient microorganisms and other beneficial bacteria coexist at the level of the rhizosphere in a state of symbiosis with plants.

Among the benefits that this technique can provide to agriculture is to promote germination, flowering, fruit development and plant reproduction, improve the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soils, suppress pathogens that promote diseases and Increase the effectiveness of organic matter as a fertilizer.

Final considerations
Dear readers, as it was evident using this type of agroecological alternative enhances the soil biota, improves its physical structure, facilitating the decomposition of organic matter making available the nutrients necessary for the growth of crops. It has also been tested as a substrate for nurseries and has given good results, in upcoming publications we will be showing which methodology to use for the production of efficient microorganisms, as an ecological product made with endogenous resources available to the producer which guarantees an economically profitable and environmentally safe system.

Bibliographic references
  • Higa, T. (1994) Effective Microorganisms: A New Dimension for Natural Agriculture.


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