A Russian firm Lysterra LLC engaged in making crop protection products has evinced interest in the encapsulation technology (bio-capsule) developed and patented by the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) Kozhikode for crops.

Microbial encapsulation technology ensures the successful delivery of biologically competent beneficial microbes. IISR inked the agreement with Lysterra LLC for the commercialisation of this technology.

“Lysterra LLC is the first foreign company to commercialise the technology from IISR,” said CK Thankamani, Director of the Institute.

Indication of effectiveness

Emphasising the need for technology generation and commercialisation to go hand in hand, T Mohapatra, Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, said the demand for the technology even among the foreign entities is indicative of its effectiveness.

AK Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort), said microbial encapsulation technology has been used across several crops including spices, cereals, fruits, vegetables and plantation crops enabling it to reach millions of farm holdings across the country within a short time.

IISR has already issued non-exclusive licenses to four firms in India for the commercial production of bio-capsules using encapsulation technology.

Increased acceptance

The product has gained increased acceptance among the farming community across the country as it finds usage in the cultivation of spices, vegetable cultivation, and other crops. The Institute alone has distributed 1.5 lakh capsules to the farming community.

Unlike the traditional microbial formulations, encapsulation makes it easy to store, use and transport while maintaining a high microbial count. “One capsule can be diluted using 100-200 litres of water based on the micro-organism present in the capsule,” IISR scientists said.

There has been an encouraging trend in the usage of cost-effective bio capsules among traditional farmers and young and trained farmers. “It does not contain any harmful residual and the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides can be minimised,” the scientists added.