Hyderabad: Mineral scientist who invented alternative to chemical fertilisers passes away | Hyderabad News

HYDERABAD: Dr DMR Sekhar, the country’s leading mineral engineer, who not only invented an alternative for chemical fertilizers but also struggled hard to ensure that this model reaches the farmers, breathed his last on Monday after suffering a massive heart attack.
Born to a popular educationist D T Moses in Ongole, DMR, as he was popularly known in AP and mineral engineering fields, always was in the forefront to fight against injustice, to help the poor students, and also to reach out to the farmers in distress. His invention, Phosphate Rich Organic Manure (PROM) was aimed at replacing chemical fertilizers.
This is a value-added product produced by co-compositing different organic wastes with high-grade rock phosphate in fine size. This has become a useful and effective alternative to costly chemical fertilizers and the union fertilizers department too acknowledged it. He was putting in his efforts to convince the center to supply rock phosphate to farmers at subsidy price and to make farmers prepare their own Prom fertilizer by mixing farmyard manure into it. It is not just a cheaper option, it is healthy and would strengthen the soil too. This would result in a substantial reduction in the utilization of chemical fertilizers.
Researches carried out on diverse crops such as wheat, soybean, mustard, groundnut, cotton, chilly, in different agro-climatic conditions unequivocally showed the effectiveness of Prom fertilizer, his colleagues in the effort said. He was conferred with National Mineral Award for his efforts in mineral beneficiation. He was in charge of the central government’s phosphate research and development center and was also with several central mineral beneficiation efforts.
Upon a special invitation, he went to Jordan Phosphate mines company in Jordan in 2007 and doubled the production there within a short span of time by employing innovative methods at the phosphate beneficiation plant there.
DMR Sekhar studied science related to genes and wrote extensively about human evolution. He always tried to drive away prejudices from the human mind with scientific efforts and encouraged research in this direction. He founded Research Institute for Social Evolution (RISE) and gave awards and prizes to scores of social activists who registered significant accomplishments in their fight against social evils.
Final rites to his mortal remains would be performed at Ongole, his native place, on Friday. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. Scores of people from scientific, social, and political circles expressed shock at his sudden demise and were paying their tributes to this popular scientist who preferred struggle over comforts throughout his life.

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