DIY: Make your own Indigenous microorganisms (IMO) concoction

The presence of black molds on the IMO concoction is undesirable and it's essential to carefully remove the molds to avoid interference with the growth of beneficial microorganisms. (Poor_photographer/Pixabay)


Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) refer to a diverse group of beneficial microorganisms present in the local environment. These microorganisms include bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic life forms that play crucial roles in nutrient recycling, decomposition of organic matter, and improving soil structure. IMO are found in natural habitats like forests, meadows, and healthy agricultural fields.

Utilizing IMO in agriculture offers numerous advantages. They help break down organic matter into essential nutrients, making them readily available to plants. This nutrient enrichment leads to healthier and more robust crops. Additionally, IMO assists in suppressing harmful pathogens, reducing the risk of plant diseases.

Moreover, IMO contributes to the creation of essential nutrients required for the healthy growth of plants, aiding in their overall health and development. Additionally, it acts as a natural inhibitor, preventing the proliferation of harmful microorganisms in the soil. Lastly, IMO is beneficial in reducing excessive ammonia levels in poultry and duck environments, as well as in mitigating the unpleasant odors in livestock.

Rice is most preferred as a medium for harboring IMO because it provides an ideal carbohydrate source for nurturing beneficial microorganisms. It is readily available, cost-effective, and fosters a favorable environment for microbe growth.

Materials needed:

  1. Plastic container or clay pot
  2. Manila paper (unprinted) or cloth
  3. Basin or pail
  4. 1kg cooked rice
  5. 1kg molasses 


How to make an IMO concoction

  1. Cook the rice. Allow it to cool completely before proceeding.
  2. Place the cooled rice in a clean and disinfected container. Ensure that the container is tightly closed with manila paper or cloth to prevent contamination by insects and other unwanted microorganisms.
  3. Label the container with the date of preparation. This will help you keep track of the fermentation process.
  4. Find a suitable location to ferment the rice. Ideally, choose a cool and dark area, such as under a bamboo grove, to facilitate the growth of indigenous microorganisms.
  5. Allow the rice to ferment for a period of three days. During this time, the indigenous microorganisms will multiply and help create a beneficial microbial environment.
  6. Check the fermented rice for any formations of black mold. If you find any, carefully remove the mold to prevent it from affecting the fermentation process.
  7. In a clean and sanitized pail, mix the fermented rice with molasses in a 1:1 weight ratio. Molasses will act as a food source for the microorganisms, aiding in their growth.
  8. Seal the top of the pail with manila paper or a clean cloth to allow airflow while preventing contaminants from entering. Label the pail with the date of preparation.
  9. Allow the mixture to ferment further for another 7 days. This will help enhance the potency of the indigenous microorganisms.
  10. When ready to use the concoction, dilute 2 tablespoons of the fermented rice and molasses mixture with 1 liter of water. This diluted solution will serve as a potent microbial inoculant.
  11. The remaining mixture can be stored for future use. Store it in a cool and dark place to maintain its effectiveness. The concoction can be stored for up to 6 months.

Uses of IMO

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of IMO in 1 liter of water. Use it to water or spray the soil during preparation. It can also be used to enhance the quality of compost. Add 5% IMO to the compost then mix it thoroughly for 3 days before using.

Aside from compost, you can also utilize chicken manure or other animal manure, straw, and other materials in the field that have not fully decomposed. Spray the field with IMO one day before or during the first plowing, together with the farm waste. Spray or spread the IMO in the seedbed and plantation 2-5 days before planting or transplanting.

The use of indigenous microorganisms in sustainable agriculture is a natural and effective way to improve crop health and protect against pests and diseases. Farmers can enhance soil fertility, reduce the need for chemicals, and create a healthier farming ecosystem by utilizing these beneficial microorganisms.

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