Prof. Naveen Arora, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, UP, India
Prof. Dilfuza Egamberdieva, Ecobiome R&D, National University of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan
The sustainable use of natural resources within the framework of preventing global climate change and improve food security are in focus in this proposal. The drought and salinity are likely to mean a reduction in crop productivity and subsequently reduces soil fertility and in cause land degradation. There are huge drought and salt affected lands in India and Uzbekistan and a suitable and green technology is required for their reclamation and enhanced productivity. Legume cropping systems that increase carbon sequestration and concurrently enhance plant productivity and prevent desertification are of major interest in many countries in the world. However, in several regions including Uzbekistan and India water scarcity, salinity, and low organic matter status are major limitations for nitrogen fixation by legumes. Biochar, a black carbon sequestering material, and an active plant beneficial rhizobacteria have both been shown to enhance soil productivity and plant growth. This research project will investigate how the addition of biochars, and beneficial Plant growth supporting and biocontrol strains from the pool of rhizobacterial isolates can improve the soil biological, chemical properties, soybean growth, nutrient uptake on drought and salt affected soils and protect plants from root fungal disease. The use of specific microbes which stimulate plant growth and/or are natural enemies of pathogens allows a considerable decrease in the use of agrochemicals. We will evaluate the possibility to convert them into products that are ecologically safe and therefore assist in the production of healthy food through the growth of healthy plants. The proposed project will give an opportunity to expand pilot research on biochar amendments of degraded and low-fertility soils in Uzbekistan and India.
The research project will investigate how the addition of biochar combined with plant beneficial rhizobacteria can improve the biological, chemical and physical properties of soils and thus growth of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in soil, where water scarcity, salinity and low organic matter status are major limitations in crop production.
The soil amendment with biochar and rhizobacteria in legumebased production systems has a great potential to enhance crop production, both in terms of additional legume grains and through enhanced soil fertility through atmospheric N2-fixation and phosphate solubilization. The project will give an opportunity to expand current research on biochar and bacterial fertilizer amendments for soybean in degraded and low-fertility soils of Uzbekistan and India and a wider range of soil types and climate conditions, from which we can expect new insights into the way biochars interact with soil biota and improve soil conditions.