Biofertilizers are defined as preparations containing living cells or latent cells of efficient strains of microorganisms that help crop plants’ uptake of nutrients by their interactions in the rhizosphere when applied through seed or soil. They accelerate certain microbial processes in the soil which augment the extent of availability of nutrients in a form easily assimilated by plants. Very often microorganisms are not as efficient in natural surroundings as one would expect them to be and therefore artificially multiplied cultures of efficient selected microorganisms play a vital role in accelerating the microbial processes in soil.
Use of biofertilizers is one of the important components of integrated nutrient management, as they are cost effective and renewable source of plant nutrients to supplement the chemical fertilizers for sustainable agriculture. Several microorganisms and their association with crop plants are being exploited in the production of biofertilizers, for example: Azotobacter (N fixing), Azospirillum (N Fixing), Rhizobium (symbiotic N fixing) Bacillus (P solubilizing) and Pseudomonas (P solubilizing).
The porpose of the workshop were to make the laboratory inoculum (Department of Microbiology, UGM) for biofertilizer available to the farmers. I do not teach the farmer to made their own fertilizer, instead I usually teach a fertilizer company so they can made a cheap biofertilizer to be sell to the farmer. Because the process took time usualy the farmer too lazy to made their own and choose to buy one. And in the reality mostly the biofertilizer which available in the market were in bad quality, the local company lack of knowledge to made a proper biofertilizer (microbial scall-up process). So then when there is a company consult to the Department, they send me as a representative to show them a proper methodes for scalling up microbial cell to be used as a biofertilizer. The first workshop i carried out were at a local company located in Sragen, Central Java on 2011. After that, there are many company comes to consult and ask me a favor to help them.
Medium that used to grow the microbial cell were widely available in a cheap prices, the main ingridients were Molasses (carbon source), urea (N source), and phosphate fertilizer (P source). Molasses is the residue from the processing of sugar that has no economic value for the crystallization, although it still contains quite a lot of sugar (55-60%) and organic and inorganic materials which are could be use by the microorganism to grow.