Biofertilization and Bioirrigation for sustainable mixed cropping of pigeon pea and finger millet (BIOFI)

Finger millet and pigeon pea are widely grown in India, particularly by marginal farmers. BIOFI aims to optimize such rainfed mixed-culture schemes using bio-irrigation and bio-fertilization (boosting yields, improving nutritional quality).


  • Lead department School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
  • Research unit International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration 01.05.2014 - 31.12.2017
  • Project management Dominic Blättler
  • Head of project Dominic Blättler
  • Keywords India, pigeon pea, finger millet, intercropping system, bio-irrigation, bio-fertilization


The aim of the project BIOFI is the development and implementation of an environmentally, economically and socially improved finger millet and pigeon pea intercropping system for arid/semi-arid zones, using bio-inoculants and bio-irrigation

Course of action

BIOFI combines biotechnology and socio-economic research. Biotech uses arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) as "biofertilizers" central to the hydraulic lift ("bioirrigation"). Socio-economic groups aim to better understand local farming and seed systems, intercropping patterns, farmers’ decision making and the bio-inputs market (incl. "eco-enterprises"). Ecological and economic assessment of biofertilizer production/application.