Innovation In Agricultural Chemicals: Hair Is The Future Of Plant Fertilizers?Find Out How!

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It is needless to say that India is an agrarian country wherein 70 percent of rural families still rely on farming practices as a primary source of income for the family as a whole. With the growing population and limited cultivable land due to pollution, corrosion and soil poisoning among others, there is a significant need for the increase of yield so as to be able to feed the growing population. An easy method to double and sometimes even triple the yield without taking up any extra space would be through the use of supplementary chemicals and other nutrients on the crops in a concoction called fertilizers in order to enhance their growth and protect them from pests and diseases. However, many a times chemical fertilizers and its contents are seen to cause health detriments to both the farmers health as well as those of the consumers of the produce. It is also seen to cause handicaps and disability in people born in the vicinity of a farm. An example for this would be the endosul fan in Kerala that was seen to have horrifying effects on residents near agricultural land using it.

It is for such reasons that it is essential that farmers should use more natural fertilizers. Manure and compost are organic, biodegradable natural nutrients that can be used. There is also another option that is natural plant fertilizer made from human hairs. This option is lucrative and the reasons for the same are that not only is this natural and will not cause harm to users or unassuming consumers but also very cost effective on a long-term basis. It is also a very practical use of human hair as human beings are said to shed 50 to a 100 strands each a day and it is incredibly durable, so much so that it is the last body part of a corpse that decomposes.

The Kerala Agriculture University in 2017 developed a plant tonic through the use of recovered hair from barber shops. This hair was then washed with chemicals and heated. This eventually forms a dark solution the chemicals in which a neutralized, resulting in a solution with high nitrogen (9000ppm) low potassium and phosphorous content. On testing the fertilizers, it could be seen that the plants showed more vigorous growth and earlier flowering in plants that had been sprayed with this fertilizer than those that were allowed to grow without any. KAU had relayed information of an optimistic outlook on this type of fertilizer since it was seen to actually be effective while being harmless to consumers and producers alike. As of August of 2019, the fertilizer is in full use after intensive testing. This innovation not only provides a renewable solution to the health concerns caused by the use of chemical fertilizers while also creating an effective disposal means for loose discarded hair as well.

Research Institute Working Currently On Such Projects:

  • Kerala Agriculture University
  • Dr. P Ragendran, Vice Chancellor, KAU.
  • Dr. Girija of KAU, Experiment manager/head.

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