Taken from the writings of Professor Teruo Higa – University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan

At the inception of my studies, 80 species were used to develop the solutions of EffectiveMicroorganisms (EM). This selection was done from over two thousand species of microbes found in all environments. The species selected were all commonly utilized in the food and fermentation industries. However, this was very complex process for a simple andenvironmentally friendly technology such that of EM. Thus studies were carried to simplifythe process of developing EM in all environments.Today, EM is developed using three principal organisms, namely Phototrophic bacteria,Lactic acid bacteria and Yeasts. These three types are indispensable for EM and even if otherspecies were not included, these would develop coexisting forms with other beneficial organisms in the environment. This happens, as EM is not made under sterile conditions, but using simple technology in many difficult environments.

Thus, the EM of today consists ofthese three principal types, which is subsequently enriched naturally by other species such as filamentous fungi and Actinomycetes. The fundamental principle is that the three principal species must be abundant in EM and the pH of the solution must be below 3.5. This is the technology and if this combination is found, that solution, made anywhere will develop the beneficial effects of EM.

I would also like to emphasize one aspect that troubles all when we speak of microorganisms.This is the concern about genetically modified organisms. EM was developed initially at atime when genetic manipulations were a pipedream of many. Certainly in Okinawa, we didnot have the technology for this. Hence it was impossible to use G M O’s in EM.

More importantly, EM is now made in all continents from the three species I mentioned earlier, which are isolated from the respective environments. Hence, I do assure you that EMdoes not contain any genetically modified organisms, nor does it contain microbes brought infrom Japan.

The application of EM is easy and is harmless. However, the use of EM does not onlyenhance the microbes found in EM in that environment. It acts as a catalyst with a synergistic effect to promote all the beneficial microbes of that environment. When this happens, themicrobes that develop harmful effects are excluded from that ecosystem, in a manner akin to human activity, where good people weed out the bad ones. Thus the soil microflora and fauna change from a disease inducing soil to a disease suppressive soil. With time and with EM and organic matter, such a soil has a capacity to develop into a zymogenic soil, which as we knowis capable of sustaining production. The process enhances to increase the humus content ofthe soil and generally an infertile Oxisol would finally end up as a black fertile soil, capable of supporting bountiful yields. This has been well proven in many environments as reported at many international forums.

Soil Improvement

EM will contribute to the improvement of the chemical, physical and biological
aspects as well as microbial aspect of a soil. From the chemical aspect it helps
release nutrients; it can as well influence the pH, the action in the soil will impact on
the chemical balance and influence within the soil. etc.

From a physical aspect the influence of EM on a soil can lead to an increase in water
permeability into a soil. The long term action of EM on the soils organic matter
content will lead to an increase in water retention, soil structure is lead in the
direction of development, etc.

From the biological aspect we want the EM to be ubiquitous: up to a billion micro
organisms per gram of soil that include millions of yeast and Actinomycetes,
photosynthetic bacteria, and others which include Protozoa etc.