What Is a Bioactivator?
A bioactivator is a biologically active (bioactive) material which is able to decompose agricultural solid wastes. It was developed by a process of scientific isolation and selection in a laboratory.
Effectiveness of the Bioactivator
The bioactivator contains cellulolytic microorganisms (i.e. tiny organisms which live on cellulose). They were found living in several different habitats in various places in Indonesia. The microorganisms were selected through studying their activity on cellulose, and ability to decompose a range of agricultural wastes. Their ability to dominate and use the organic carbohydrate substrate (Fig. 1) was also tested.
The bioactivator is formulated as an inoculant, which is applied to fresh rice straw or other waste in the field. It can accelerate the composting process to one month. Once composted, the organic material helps to increase the level of soil organic matter to maintain soil fertility, while reducing the need to apply chemical fertilizers. It has the following advantages:
ท It is highly adaptable, and can be used on almost any farm.
ท It is environmentally safe.
Feasibility of Its Use
In tests carried out in various parts of Indonesia, the bioactivator consistently shows good performance. Moreover, the bioactivator uses a raw material which is cheap and abundant.
Other advantages of the bioactivator are:
ท The production process is simple, and yields a good-quality product.
ท The bioactivator seems to have good market potential
Testing the Bioactivator
Tests done on rice straw showed that by inoculating fresh rice straw with the bioactivator, the C/N ratio can be reduced from around 45 to around 15 in only two weeks. This is approximately the same C/N ratio as mature compost made from rice straw.
The decomposed rice straw is then returned to the paddy field, to become organic fertilizer for the next crop. Used as an organic fertilizer, and combined with 5.5 kg N/ha, the decomposed straw can produce rice yields of more than 6 mt/ha.
How the Bioactivator Works
The cellulolytic microbe in the bioactivator uses the cellulose in agricultural wastes as its energy source. In this way, the cellulose in plant tissues are decomposed into simple carbohydrates that can easily be taken up by plants.
How to Use the Bioactivator
ท Mix 1 kg bioactivator with 10 kg rice bran, and leave the mixture to incubate for one week. This is enough to treat 1 mt of rice straw.
ท Apply the mixture to rice straw that has been soaked in water.
ท Leave the treated straw in a shady place for one month. Turn the rice straw every week.
After one month, the treated straw is ready to be applied to agricultural land as an organic fertilizer.
The bioactivator works best in a tropical climate, or in a temperate climate over the summer. It does not work well in low temperatures, which slow down the process of decomposition.
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