Grant to support research on environmentally sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to nitrogenous fertilizers.
Ignite Life Science Foundation (ILSF), a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit enterprise that aims to leverage scientific discoveries for social benefit, received a grant from industry veteran Nadir Godrej and Mahyco Pvt. Ltd. to expand into plant and agricultural research. ILSF is looking to expand its science funding portfolio with the help of donors.
The need of the hour is to address an increase in crop productivity in natural and sustainable ways. It is also important to address the problem of depletion of organic carbon and identify measures to restore soil health and, possibly, develop new inoculants to remedy the nutrient depletion problem.
Nadir Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Agrovet, and Managing Director of Godrej Industries, said, “Protein shortage is a major problem and producing plant-based proteins at a lower cost is essential. With high energy prices, the cost of producing nitrogenous fertiliser has risen. I support this research because it would be ideal if agriculture could reduce its dependence on nitrogenous fertilizers.”
Though nitrogen is an abundant atmospheric gas, it must be ‘fixed’ in a form that plants can use. Synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers are used as such a source to increase agricultural yields. However, they are expensive and bad for the environment.
Dr K K Narayanan, Scientific Advisor to the Ignite Life Science Foundation, noted, “Modern agriculture is faced with an ever-growing demand for nitrogenous fertilizers. Given that these are unsustainable, especially in the face of climate change, the Ignite grants for agriculture research are designed to promote the development of climate-friendly alternatives.”
Dr Bharat Char, Chief Science Officer, Mahyco Pvt. Ltd., said, “Nitrogen fertilisers are essential for agriculture, but their use degrades the environment. Finding sustainable replacements for synthetic fertilisers would be of great utility for the future of farming. Basic research is the bedrock of innovation. Through this initiative, Ignite Life Science Foundation, with our support, is playing a critical role in allowing the best minds in the field to invent real-world solutions for this problem.
Professor Ramaswamy Subramanian, Co-founder of Ignite Life Science Foundation concurred, “Betting on good science is the best investment one can make for a healthier and better future. Ignite Life Science Foundation is expanding its science funding portfolio with the help of our donors. The commitment from donors, like Mr Nadir Godrej and Mahyco, has helped us expand into plant and agricultural research. I thank them and look forward to continued support from them and hope more donors will join in this important mission.”