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Development of biofertilizer enriched with nitrogen forms derived from biomass of Azolla/Anabaena symbiotic association for agricultural use

Abstract

The Green Revolution has spread the adoption of farming practices in agricultural production systems aimed at increasing productivity. Most notably, is the intensive use of nitrogen fertilizers artificially produced from a petroleum-derived feedstock, a highly polluting and non-renewable substrate. With the population expansion and the progressive demand for food, a considerable increase in the use of this mineral resource is expected, imposing an increasing dependence on this input in the face of its imminent scarcity. Although Brazil is a major agricultural producer, its dependence on nitrogenous fertilizers is high. About 42% of this input is imported from Russia, while only 25% is synthesized nationally, in a market dominated by a few companies (Vale Fertilizantes, Petrobrás and Yara). The high import rate of this fertilizer contributes greatly to the imbalance of the Brazilian trade balance due to the value of this input being linked to the price of oil and exchange rate variations. Thus, pursuing and adopting alternative, sustainable and national systems for the production of nitrogen fertilizers is a growing need in a world dependent on agriculture. Therefore, biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), a process naturally conducted by groups of diazotrophic bacteria, emerges as a viable alternative when used on a large scale to satisfy and/or diminish our dependence on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. In this scenario, biofertilizers produced from biomass of highly optimized symbiotic systems along the biological evolution for BFN as the association of Azolla/Anabaena and Nostoc deserve to be highlighted because they are already used in efficient ways in rice production systems. The present project aims at the national and industrial scale production of bio fertilizer rich in nitrogen source, element essentially used in agricultural crops, by a biotechnological process associating the scientific and technological competencies established by Brazilian research groups and using national genetic and biological resources. At the end of this period, the objective is to prepare a natural nitrogen fertilizer from the biomass of the symbiotic association Azolla/Anabaena x Nostoc, the first national biofertilizer in this category. Emphasizing that this technology aims to supply and/or reduce the lack of the national market for this product. It is intended to create process development conditions and biofertilizer production with quality on a pilot scale using simple, inexpensive and safe methods. It is hoped to obtain promising results from the point of view of technology transfer for industry and that are in line with the national demand for nitrogen fertilizers. (AU)

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