Research & Studies

Opportunities and challenges of bio-based fertilizers utilization for improving soil health

This brand new article was written with the contribution of Gergely Tóth, deputy-director, and was released in Organic Agriculture in 2023.


Bio-based fertilizers (BBFs) have been promoted as a solution to help manage bio-waste problems and improve soil health conditions. Their potential is to replace mineral fertilizers due to nonrenewable energy dependency and the accumulation that threatens environmental issues. Currently, laboratory and field-based literature have been growing since European Union (EU) looks BBFs as the future of agriculture bio-based products. Nevertheless, it is worth to summarizing the results on a regular basis. The added value of this work is to study the opportunities of bio-based fertilizer utilization to sustain plant productivity and investigate the challenges to water footprints and human health. This study found that contamination of heavy metals and pathogens is the main problems of BBFs implementation which need more attention to develop the technology process including the environmental risk assessments. Furthermore, compared to mineral fertilizers, BBFs have obstacles to getting social acceptance due to the challenges of transportation and production cost, the concentration of nutrients, matching crops, and policy framework. To sum up, BBF is a long-run scheme that should be started to tackle global issues since the potency as energy alternative sources to support the circular economy paradigm.

Keywords: soil conservation, sustainable agriculture, human health, circular bioeconomy, agroecology.

The article is available HERE, with full text.