TODAY -

Mobile soil testing laboratory soon, says Horticulture Dept Commissioner
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 05 2019: Commissioner Horticulture Department M Harekrishna has conveyed that, for the first time in Manipur, a mobile soil testing laboratory will soon be launched in the State under the directive of the Department of Horticulture.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the World Soil Day, organised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra Imphal West, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region Manipur Centre Imphal at Lamphelpat today.

The Commissioner continued that farmers from different districts are bringing the soil from the paddy fields or from the place where they are planning to grow crops to either at the laboratories in ICAR Lamphelpat or in Horticulture /Agriculture Department to check the fertility of the soil.



Mobile soil testing laboratory soon, says Horticulture Dept Commissioner
Mobile soil testing laboratory soon, says Horticulture Dept Commissioner


In order to effectively carry out this process, the Horticulture Department will be setting up a mobile soil testing laboratory soon, he added.

The Commissioner further stated that necessary materials/equipment of the laboratory have arrived here and is almost ready to set up.

As the name signifies, the mobile soil testing laboratory will enable test to be conducted at the location of the fields and swiftly generate the result, he said while adding that other supplementary tests, if necessary, will be conducted at the laboratories.

M Harekrishna maintained that the State will progress in terms of production, maintaining quality of produces and become self-reliant if Horticulture Department, Agriculture Department, Veterinary Department and ICAR join hands and take up necessary initiatives for the welfare of the public, especially the farmers.

Soil health cards are handed over to those farmers who test the soil health regularly and are okayed for plantation of crops/vegetables, he said while lauding the farmers for following such procedures which will help them deliver bountiful harvest.

Maintaining that adding chemical fertilisers and frequent use of pesticides will not only be hazardous to health but will affect the soil as well, he appealed the farmers not to utilise such harsh chemicals on crops and vegetables.

A time has come in which people are more interested in organic food and farmers more focused on increasing organic produces, he said while urging the farmers to use organic substances like cow dung.

He further appealed to all farmers to carry out soil testing regularly to keep the soil health in check.

ICAR Manipur Centre Lamphelpat Principal Scientist Dr I Meghachandra attended the function as the special guest while ICAR Manipur Centre Lamphelpat Joint Director Dr Narendra Prakash as the functional president.

With "Stop soil erosion, Save our future" as this year's theme, soil health cards were distributed to farmers during the programme.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Department observed World Soil Day at the conference hall, Directorate office in Sanjenthong today.

Agriculture Commissioner Mongjam Joy, Director Laltanpui Vanchhong and Additional Director L Irabot attended the function as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Speaking at the function, M Joy underlined the necessity of soil testing in today's time while highlighting the importance of having proper awareness about the impacts of natural and man-made factors on fertility of soil.

Director Lalthanpui Vanchhong said that the District Agriculture Officer along with farmers of different districts should have regular discussion regarding requirements at the grassroots levels apart from checking soil fertility.

While there have been minimum instances regarding utilisation of fertilisers in hilly areas, the farmers in the valley often use fertilisers without checking the health of the soil.

He continued that this will decrease the natural fertility of the soil and deplete its health, which should be avoided.

Following the General Assembly of the United Nations, World Soil Day was first observed on December 5, 2014, he added.

Soil health cards were presented to farmers as part of the function.

On the other hand, Krishi Vigyan Kendra Imphal East (Andro) also celebrated World Soil Day in which the importance of soil health testing and benefits of soil health card are stressed.

A press release issued by programme co-ordinator i/c KVK I/E stated that the theme, "Stop soil erosion, Save our future" focuses on the increasing challenges in soil management and raising the profile of healthy soil by encouraging organisations, Governments, communities and individuals around the world towards improving soil health and its conservation.

The observation also underlined the necessary steps for reducing soil erosion and to maintaining soil fertility so that sustainable soil health can be ensured.

Altogether 60 farmers attended the programme while soil cards were distributed to 50 farmers from different locations of Imphal East district.


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