There is a direct correlation between population growth and food demand. As the global population continues to rise, there is a need to scale up food production to meet the food demand of the population. In addition, the arable land over time has lost its naturally endowed nutrients. Hence, alternative measures such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are used to fortify the soil and scale up the production rate. As efforts are being made to meet this food demand and ensure food security, it is equally important to ensure food safety for consumption. Food safety measures need to be put in place throughout the food production chain lines. One of the fundamental measures is the use of biofertilizers or plant growth promoters instead of chemical or synthesized fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that poise several dangers to human and animal health. Biofertilizers competitively colonize plant root systems, which, in turn, enhance nutrient uptake, increase productivity and crop yield, improve plants' tolerance to stress and their resistance to pathogens, and improve plant growth through mechanisms such as the mobilization of essential elements, nutrients, and plant growth hormones. Biofertilizers are cost-effective and ecofriendly in nature, and their continuous usage enhances soil fertility. They also increase crop yield by up to about 10-40% by increasing protein contents, essential amino acids, and vitamins, and by nitrogen fixation. This review therefore highlighted different types of biofertilizers and the mechanisms by which they elicit their function to enhance crop yield to meet food demand. In addition, the review also addressed the role of microorganisms in promoting plant growth and the various organisms that are beneficial for enhancing plant growth.
Keywords: biofertilizers; ecofriendly; food safety; food security; growth hormones; nitrogen fixation.