Bio-inputs for Sustainable Agriculture in South America

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Bio-inputs for Sustainable Agriculture in South America

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Bio-inputs, which include technologies based on microbiomes or microorganisms, hold immense promise for sustainable agriculture in South America. These alternatives aim to reduce reliance on fossil-based inputs while enhancing productivity and environmental sustainability. In this article, we explore the adoption of bio-inputs in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, highlighting challenges and opportunities.

The Promise of Bio-inputs

  1. Environmental Benefits: Bio-inputs contribute to increased soil carbon sequestration, soil restoration, and reduced methane emissions from ruminants.
  2. Reduced Reliance on Synthetics: While synthetic inputs dominate, bio-based alternatives offer a more sustainable path forward.

Challenges and Opportunities

  1. Perceptions and Adoption: Farmers perceive bio-inputs as short-lived and slower to respond compared to synthetic counterparts. Addressing these perceptions is crucial.
  2. Regulatory Frameworks: Developing clear regulatory guidelines will facilitate the commercialization of new bio-inputs.
  3. Training for Extension Agents: Specialized training is essential to support farmers in managing systems that incorporate bio-inputs.
  4. Evidence Gap: More research is needed to understand the socioeconomic effects of bio-inputs in real-world settings.


South America is poised for a technological and sustainable transition toward greater bio-input adoption. By fostering collaboration, investing in research, and creating supportive policies, we can unlock the full potential of bio-inputs for a greener and more resilient agricultural future.

Download the full article here.


Fernanda Silva Martinelli
Fernanda Silva Martinelli is a doctoral researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, Germany. E-mail:
Jorge Sellare
Jorge Sellare is a senior researcher and group leader at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, Germany. Email:

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