Second Green Revolution

Think about a future when synthetic nitrogen fertiliser will be a thing of the past. Yes, what you’re about to read is true. In what is being called a second green revolution scientists at the University of Nottingham have found a way of unlocking atmospheric nitrogen to help plants feed themselves.

Nitrogen fixation is the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen that is necessary for plants to grow. Problem is, only a few plants like legumes (peas, beans, lentils) can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere with the help of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The vast majority of plants have to get their nitrogen from the soil, and there’s not enough of it everywhere. That’s why humanity uses so much synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. For instance, I have been using the leaves of  Gliricidia or Giripushp to provide nitrogen to the soil. In fact, I’ve ringed my farm with dozens of Gliricidia plants. So that I’m never short of them.

Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonize all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous as this new technology can provide much of the plant’s nitrogen needs. If this can be done right and safely, it could be a major second Green Revolution, with tremendous impacts on the environment and world food production.






2 thoughts on “Second Green Revolution

  1. shakir


    I am an NRI in USA, I stumbled upon your blog and all your posts are very natural and comforting for someone who is home away from home.
    I am planning to start some sort of farming in India and take a break from my corporate career to be close to nature, do you have any suggestions where to start and how?


    1. hiraman

      Dear Shakir,
      Its a great idea to become a farmer but its the land cost which is a deterrent. Moreover, labour problem is another factor you need to consider. If you’ve decided to dirty your hands with the the soil you need to begin with identifying the places you plant to have your farm. In last three years land prices have gone up by four fold making it almost impossible to become a hobby farmer. Still, go ahead give it a try. My best wishes.

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