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Biologicals a Key Solution: Technological Interventions in Crop Health and Plant Protection

The author of this article is Dr. Vimala Prakash, Head-Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) IPL Biologicals Limited.

Aysha Anam
Dr. Vimala Prakash, Head-Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) IPL Biologicals Limited.
Dr. Vimala Prakash, Head-Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) IPL Biologicals Limited.

Population growth and changing climate conditions have led to increased resistance of pests to synthetic pesticides, necessitating a shift towards safe and sustainable cultivation methods. This transition aims to guarantee high-quality food production, protect human health, and preserve the environment.

Biologicals on the Rise

Biologicals, including bio-pesticides, bio-fertilizers, and bio-stimulants derived from natural sources, have emerged as crucial agricultural inputs. They provide sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to conventional pesticides. The global market for biologicals is projected to reach $15.2 billion by 2029, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% from 2023 to 2029.

Biopesticides, an Effective and Safe Alternatives in Crop Protection

Bio-pesticides, play a vital role in addressing the challenges of  3R’s resistance, residues, and pest resurgence. These naturally occurring substances, derived from microbes, plants, or animals, are generally considered safe and biodegradable. They work by inhibiting pest feeding or reproduction, directly attacking pests, or enhancing the plant's natural defense mechanisms. Microorganisms, such as Beauveria bassiana, Verticillium lecanii, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Hirsutella thompsonii, as well as bacterial Bio-pesticides like Bacillus thuringiensis, produce toxins that target specific insects, making them effective Bio-pesticides against various pest species.

Certain species of Trichoderma spp, serve as effective agents in controlling plant pathogenic fungi. They can act directly on target pathogens or induce systemic resistance in plants, stimulating the production of defense enzymes. This promotes overall plant protection against disease-causing agents while also enhancing plant growth.

Secondary Metabolites and Microbes in Biopesticides

Secondary metabolites, including antimicrobial peptides like iturin, terpenes, fureno steroids, and fungicidal compounds like viridin and Harzianic acid enhance the efficacy of Bio-pesticides formulations. Although these metabolites are not directly involved in the growth and development of organisms, they contribute to innate immunity and ensure a defensive response. Additionally, certain endophytic microbes (bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, etc.) and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) enhance plant growth, nutrient uptake, and disease resistance. These microbes establish symbiotic relationships with plant roots, providing benefits such as nitrogen fixation, the production of plant growth substances, and the suppression of disease-causing pathogens.

Biostimulants for Enhancing Nutrient Uptake and Stress Resistance

Biostimulants comprise a diverse group of products, including seaweed extracts, humic acid, fulvic acid, amino acids, microbial inoculants, and PGPR. When applied to soil or plants, they stimulate natural processes that enhance nutrient uptake, improve plant growth, and help combat biotic and abiotic stresses. Furthermore, biostimulants activate plant defense mechanisms, contributing to overall plant health and resilience.

Delivering Microbial Solutions for A Better World

IPL Biologicals, a leading agricultural microbial solutions company since 1994, focuses on developing innovative indigenous microbial-based solutions for farmers and addressing global challenges. With a commitment to creating a safer and healthier planet, we provide sustainable, safe, and cutting-edge solutions worldwide. Our products are suitable for diverse agro-climatic zones, they are safe, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and can be integrated into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. The team of experts at the Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) at IPL Biologicals is actively working towards delivering innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture.


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