Fungus boosts food production

26 May, 2011 by (comments)

New research shows that using fungus instead of fertilizer to provide phosphate to plants can cut fertilizer quantities by more than half and help feed the world, Seed Daily reports.

Studies conducted by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, have shown that the application of mycorrhizal fungi to plants helps them acquire phosphate from the soil and stimulates their growth. It could be a boon for smallholder farmers for whom phosphate fertilizers are a major expense, especially in tropical regions.

New biotechnology science allows the mass cultivation of the fungus which can then be conserved and transported to phosphate-poor soils via a gel.

CIAT has also used mycorrhizal fungi inoculation in studies to boost banana yields in Rwanda, which showed production increases of up to 350%.

Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en