The incessant need to increase crop yields has led to the development of many chemical fertilizers containing NPK (nitrogen–phosphorous–potassium) which can degrade soil health in the long term. In addition, these fertilizers are often leached into nearby water bodies causing algal bloom and eutrophication. Bacterial secondary metabolites exuded into the extracellular space, termed extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) have gained commercial significance because of their biodegradability, non-toxicity, and renewability. In many habitats, bacterial communities faced with adversity will adhere together by production of EPS which also serves to bond them to surfaces. Typically, hygroscopic, EPS retain moisture in desiccating conditions and modulate nutrient exchange. Many plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPR) combat harsh environmental conditions like salinity, drought, and attack of pathogens by producing EPS. The adhesive nature of EPS promotes soil aggregation and restores moisture thus combating soil erosion and promoting soil fertility. In addition, these molecules play vital roles in maintaining symbiosis and nitrogen fixation thus enhancing sustainability. Thus, along with other commercial applications, EPS show promising avenues for improving agricultural productivity thus helping to address land scarcity as well as minimizing environmental pollution. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.