Title : Development of A Biofertilizer for Tea Agriculture by Using Different Organic Materials and Bacteria Isolated from Tea Soils
Turkey is considered to be one of the rare countries that can produce large amount of tea in a narrow land area and tea has a crucial role in the agricultural economy of Eastern Black Sea, Turkey where the background of Turkish Tea Agriculture goes back to 1950’s. Although there has been no serious problem in tea soils of Black Sea Turkey for the last three decades, Turkish tea sector have been recently suffering from several soil problems such as acidification, surface compaction, nutrient leaching, decrease in cation exchange capacity, water retention and microbial diversity and increasing soil erosion. Considering these threats, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Turkey (GTHB) has declared that 830.000 decare of tea area would gradually be introduced to organic tea agriculture within the frame of Turkish National Agircultural Policy. However, this tremendous action requires the improvement of eco-friendly alternatives such as new generation soil conditioners and biofertilizers, which may help to mitigate soil acidification and nutrient immobilization problems, regulate soil physico-chemical and biological characteritics and provide nutrients required for the tea growth.
The expected outcomes from the researc were (i) development of “a biochar based biofertilizer including PGPR isolated from acidic tea soils; (ii) mobilizing tea nutrient in problematic tea soil by using biofertilizer developed through this work; (iii) reducing dependency to chemical fertilizers in the long term and (iv) improvement of a new generation product having “double effect” in terms of both soil conditioning and microbial fertilization. In order to reach this goal, different organic materials (i.e biochars obtanied from the pyrolysis of poultry bedding and tea residue and tea compost) has been inoculated with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria ((Pseudomonas fluorescens, Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis and B. pumilus)) isolated from acidic tea soils of Black Sea Turkey and their efficacy as a biofertilizer tested under controlled experimental conditions. Followingly, the field treatment has been conducted in different tea plantations of General Directorate of Tea Enterprises, Turkey (ÇAYKUR) by using randomized block design. Soil and plant samples has been collected during three harvest period.