The successful investigations on encapsulation of microbial strains have largely been confined to the laboratory. The ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode has successfully developed, field-tested and commercialized encapsulation technology (biocapsules) for the smart delivery of agriculturally important microorganisms (Patent Application No: 3594/CHE/2013 filed on 13-08-2013). The technology involves encapsulation of the microorganisms of interest in a gelatin capsule for delivery to agricultural crops for the enhanced soil nutrient solubilization, enhanced growth and yield.
The capsule contains the microorganism in an immobilized/inactive condition and the cells can be activated by dissolving the capsule in water. This suspension can be diluted and the seeds or seedlings or rhizomes are soaked in the suspension for 30 minutes before sowing/ transplanting into the main field. The remaining suspension can be used as soil drench. This encapsulation technique can be used for delivering all kinds of agriculturally important micro-organisms, viz., N fixers, nutrient solubilizers/mobilizers, Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR), Trichoderma, Burkholderia, etc.
- Smart and precise microbial delivery to crops.
- Maintains high microbial population.
- Green technology, totally eco-friendly.
- Low production cost.
- Easy to handle and store.
- High shelf life.
- Production and storage at normal temperature.
- Does not require sophisticated equipment for manufacture,
- Can be used to deliver all agriculturally important microorganisms.
Technology licensing and commercialization
- CodaguAgritech, Kushalnagar, Karnataka
The Trichodermaharzianum and PGPR are being currently marketed under the brand names Trichocap and Powercap by the authorized licensee, M/s CodaguAgritech, Kushal Nagar, Karnataka, who is the first start up licensee for this technology. Till now, more than 30,000 capsules at a selling price of Rs. 100 per capsule have been successfully sold by the company in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat.
- SRT Agro Science Pvt. Ltd., Durg, Chhattisgarh
The technology was also licensed by the SRT Agro Science Pvt. Ltd., Chhattisgarh in 2018 January, a biofertizer/biopesticide private company started in the Year - 2007.
(Source: ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode)