Traditional Fertilizers Make Healthy Soil

A recent study in Western India compared the health of the soil fed by traditional fertilizers vs those fed by industrial fertilizers. As reported in EOS

Now, new research from western India has shown that in a head-to-head test of soil properties, organic fertilizer based on Traditional Ecological Knowledge encouraged better soil structure and fertility, even during drought periods. Only about 10%–15% of farms in the region studied use the traditional fertilizer, but studies like this one could incentivize more sustainable agricultural practices.

Anecdotally, this has been suspected for years, and studies from other parts of India have shown similar results. but this was the first study rigorously testing soils from West India farms where the soil is drier and more salinated.

Back in the lab, Sharma found that the water-holding capacity of the traditionally fertilized soil was higher than in soils using chemical fertilizers, even throughout two seasons of drought. The more water the soil can retain, the less it leaches nutrients, making it more sustainable in the long term. Soils using traditional fertilizer also had lower soil density, which is crucial for plant rooting, and more stable pH levels throughout the drought periods, even though dry conditions tend to increase salinity. Soils treated with chemical fertilizers tended to have higher pH over time, which can decrease the solubility of nutrients. Overall, jeevamrutha worked better than chemical fertilizers for improving the soil structure and fertility.

Leave a Reply