Paving The Way For Sustainable Agriculture with Biological Seed Treatment

Sustainable Agriculture

Seed treatment can be defined as the application of physical, chemical or biological agents to the seed before it is sown in the soil. This process is carried out in the form of dressing, coating and pelleting to fight against pathogens, insects and pests that harm seeds or plants. Biological seed treatment is the most preferred method across the world today as it helps in meeting environmental standards as well as socioeconomic requirements. Also, it is expected to become the fastest-growing treatment method in the future. 

With an exponential rise in world population, the demand for food has grown considerably in the past many decades. It is interesting to note that 90% of food crops are grown from seed. Thus, it signifies the importance of seed in boosting agricultural productivity and food security to meet the growing demand. Additionally, with the growing emphasis on agriculture with less land, water usage and labour, seed treatment can pave the way for sustainable agriculture.

There are several challenges faced in agriculture to boost productivity sustainably. The extensive use of chemicals has led to the development of resistance to pests, food and feed pollution and environmental pollution. Moreover, the agricultural run-off due to floods has polluted water resources. The toxicity has caused health hazards to animals as well as humans. Besides, the high cost related to chemical use through foliar application and other tools has also reduced its popularity. 

Also, the traditional methods to prevent diseases in seeds and plants such as crop rotation, fallowing, mixed cropping have not gained enough acceptance from the farming community due to the economic implications. The menace of pathogens, pests and insects continues to plague agriculture. This is where biological seed treatment comes into the picture as a reliable and cost-effective treatment method to jumpstart sustainable crop production.

In biological seed treatment, beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi play a vital role in ameliorating wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses on seeds. The inoculation mechanism with biological agents combined with bio-priming promotes uniform germination of seeds and boosts plant growth. 

With the latest technological innovations and advanced studies, the potential for the control of seed-borne diseases using microorganism is found to be very high. The bio-priming process adds rhizosphere microorganisms to control the growth of pathogens during priming. The biological organisms are effective in controlling soil pathogens and soil-borne diseases. 

 

The biological seed treatment helps in growing healthy plants, increases crop yield, and reduces the use of pesticides. Some of the other advantages include reduction of inoculation in the beginning and environmental problems. Also, it is known for breaking of seed dormancy. Thus, it can be said that biological seed treatment is playing a major role in boosting agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner. 

Also Read: The importance of Biological Seed Treatment in Vegetable Production

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