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Soil Testing Resumes to Boost Agri Economy

Good news for farmers in the Uttarakhand state, soil testing at the horticulture training and testing centre, Srinagar, has resumed after an 11-year break.

The lab was started in 1972, but it stopped functioning in 2004 due to staff and fund crunch. Now, to soil testing is required to boost farming which will in turn create means of livelihood and stem migration of farmers from the hill state, the horticulture department has given the lab a makeover.

A soil test can determine fertility or the expected growth potential of the soil which indicates nutrient deficiencies, potential toxicities from excessive fertility and inhibitions from the presence of non-essential trace minerals. A soil test is the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient and contaminated content, composition and other characteristics such as the acidity or pH level.

The lab got functional, raising the hopes of farmers as the test results will help them decide the crop to be grown, depending on the soil quality.

The deputy director of the lab, Jagdish Kem said that the move will help the agriculture and horticulture departments in meeting their goals by boosting agricultural production. This will in turn boost the state's economy as farmers would be guided to sow crops as per the soil suitability rather their own likes and dislikes.

Ken also said "The farmers would now grow crop as per the market requirement rather following traditional methods of agriculture. The department will disseminate knowledge among farmers to take agriculture and horticulture with entrepreneurial zeal. We are promoting horticulture in a way so that it becomes one of the most promising businesses of the state."

After the recent announcement of chief minister Harish Rawat to develop horticulture in the state, the horticulture department sprang into action by immediately reinstating additional staff in the lab. The horticulture department has also called back the officials who had worked in the lab earlier.