The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at University of the Philippines Los Banos (BIOTECH) counts a microbial based fertilizer as its most successfully marketed technology.
Bio-N, a nitrogen supplement for rice, corn and vegetables, is a microbial-based fertilizer composed mainly of living bacteria isolated from the roots of talahib (Saccharum spontaneum). “Through government support, we have been able to create more than 60 mixing plants for Bio-N to date,” says Dr. Jocelyn T. Zarate, BIOTECH researcher.
With the mixing plants mostly owned by farmers cooperatives in a kind of franchise arrangement with BIOTECH, the technology becomes available to more farmers in the country. “That is to say, farming cooperatives can purchase a single, pack of Bio-N, mix it in the mixing plant, and produce about 20 more packs of Bio-N that they can sell at P60 each,” Zarate says. “So the cooperatives, which shell out around P500,000 per mixing plant, including training and setup, can keep on earning from the Bio-N.”