A research team from the University of Almeria has developed a biofertilizer based on tomato waste. “The researchers propose to apply a heat treatment to the remains of the previous year’s harvest, which are generally thrown away in the recycling centers. This organic amendment also reduces the water consumption of each plant and improves the fertility of the soil”, specify Researchers.
Traditional fertilizers generally have drawbacks such as degradation of agricultural soils, odors and pollution of aquifers, among other problems. To reduce the environmental impact of these fertilizers, scientists suggest doing without them altogether and using this organic amendment, made with tomato waste and effective against different pathogens, such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. . “It is an alternative option, more sustainable and cheaper than the compounds normally used because the raw material is made up of waste from the previous season,” said Francisco José Castillo Díaz, researcher at the University of Almeria .
In the study’ Biodisinfection as a cost-effective fertilization method for horticultural crops within the framework of the circular economy’ published in Agronomy, the researchers explained that they used bio-solarization to make the biofertilizer. This technique combines the remains of the previous year’s harvest with heat treatment to obtain the fertilizer.
The trial of this study was carried out for three consecutive years in the UAL-ANECOOP experimental farm on a plot that simulates the characteristics of Almeria horticulture. The researchers concluded that this biofertilizer is as effective as conventional fertilizers. It is less polluting and can be used approximately every seven months, coinciding with the usual cultivation periods in the region.