Biofertilizers in Pakistan: Initiatives and limitations

Muhammad Naveed*, Ijaz Mehboob, Masood A. Shaker, M. Baqir Hussain, Muhammad Farooq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Biological preparation containing live or latent cells of microorganisms or their metabolites, which when inoculated to seed, soil or roots of seedlings, promote plant growth and enhance harvestable yield is termed as biofertilizer. Biofertilizers, generally marketed, contain microbes capable of nitrogen (N) -fixation, phosphate solubilization/mineralization, phytohormone production and biocontrol. This paper reviews various initiatives in research and development of the biofertilizers taken by different institutes of Pakistan. The use of biofertilizers can play an important role in sustaining the agriculture systems. In Pakistan, where fertilizer is annually a hundred billion rupees business, even a 10% contribution by biofertilizer can save rupees ~10 billion. Various research groups/organizations are engaged in research and development on biofertilizers and have made their efforts to increase the application of biofertilizers in Pakistan's agriculture. Inconsistent field performance, lack of regulation and standards, quality issues of the product(s), awareness and lack of publicity are the major constraints in the widespread use of biofertilizers in Pakistan. If these problems are resolved, better results and responses can be expected through biofertilizer use in Pakistan. Assuring quality of products with extensive field-based testing, capacity building of resource persons and stakeholders on standard production processes, storage and application will help a wider adoption and popularization of the biofertilizer technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Agriculture and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Biocontrol
  • Biofertilizer
  • N-fixation
  • Nutrients mobilization
  • Phosphate solubilization
  • Phytohormone production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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