Thursday, August 18, 2022

Successful agriculture depends on healthy soil: V Kashiho Sangtam

Minister for Soil & Water Conservation, Geology, and Mining, NSMDC, V Kashiho Sangtam on Thursday asserted that successful agriculture was dependent on healthy soil in order to produce food sufficient to feed the ever-increasing population. Speaking as special guest at the commissioning of mobile soil testing laboratories and launching of the three-day capacity building programme on mobile soil testing at the directorate of Soil & Water Conservation, Kohima, the minister said Nagaland is primarily an agrarian state where more than 70% of the population is engaged in agriculture.
According to a DIPR report, the minister said that Nagaland now has three mobile soil testing laboratories in addition to the soil testing laboratories in all the districts that. He said that laboratories were fully equipped with high-tech equipment capable of analyzing both macro and micro nutrients. Kashiho expressed hope that laboratories would aid the farmers in monitoring the health of the soil and apply location-specific management practices.
The minister said that the state also has block-level mini soil testing labs coming up very soon in all the blocks, which would cater to the soil testing needs in remote areas.
According to the minister, the state now has two bio fertilizer production units at Rotimi village under Zunheboto district and Seyochung town under Kiphire district. He said that the units would be functional in a few months. Kashiho said that a proposal for another ten units was with the Ministry of Finance for consideration. With those units in place, he said the state would have sufficient Biofertilizers to meet the demand of the farmers for the entire state.

State chief secretary, J Alam, who was the guest of honour, said that the facilities were now available for the farmers. He said that Nagaland has 90 soil testing labs where 3000 soil tests can be conducted in each lab. Therefore, he said that it would be possible to give soil health cards to all landholders, which would be the goal of the department.
Delivering the keynote address, the agriculture production commissioner (APC) Nagaland, said that within two years, the department has launched 27,304 Soil Health Cards (SHCs) for farmers covering all 74 blocks, and 10 bio-organic fertilizer quality control labs sanctioned by the Ministry during the current year.
Giving technical report, additional director and state nodal officer, soil health management, L Chubaonen, said that the three mobile soil testing laboratories were sanctioned at Rs. 75.00 lakh per lab and built by M/s Octopus Services, a company based in Baroda, Gujarat.
He explained that these laboratories are equipped with all the state-of-the-art equipment like atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS), nitrogen distillation unit, Flamephotometer, Spectrophotometer, etc. required for analysis of soil samples for both macro & micronutrients in line with the Ministry guidelines for issue of Soil Health Card.
The programme was chaired by secretary, S&WC, geology & mining, and team leader NEPeD, Libanthung Lotha, while the vote of thanks was proposed by S&WC director, S.K. Hekshe.


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