World Soil Day: Farmers urged to increase productivity

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 5th Dec: As observed around the globe, World Soil Day was observed in the state at different venues on Tuesday by different institutions.

State agriculture department observed the day in the training hall of the department located near Sanjenthong under the theme ‘Caring for the Planet from the ground’ with agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian as chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Hangkhanlian called upon the farmers of the state to conduct soil test and use minimal amount of fertilisers. He asked the farmers to work hard to meet the target of two-fold increase in agricultural produce by 2022 and make Manipur a self-reliant state in terms of food production. He also stressed the need to introduce farming technology practiced in the valley in the hill areas in order to preserve nature as well.

Additional chief secretary (agriculture) Dr Suhel Akhtar, who presided over the function, also called upon the farmers to adopt organic farming for a healthy society.

Agriculture director Ph Rajendra attended the function as guest of honour Krishi Vigyan Kendra Imphal West observed the day at ICAR Manipur Centre, Imphal.

State Planning Board deputy chairman MLA S Rajen, ICAR Manipur Centre joint director Dr I Meghachandra and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture officer in-charge K Jogeshchandra attended the event as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

In his address, MLA Rajen stressed the importance of soil testing for better crop yield and encouraged the farmers to regularly conduct soil test. He also urged the officials of agriculture department to disseminate information about the new technologies and methodology in farming among the farmers from time to time.

Certificate of participation to trainees of gardeners’ training programme and soil health cards were also distributed to farmers on the occasion.

KVK Thoubal also observed the day at its Khangabok complex. Manidco and Manitron chairman Dr Y Radheshyam and Manipur Pollution Control Board chairman L Radhakishore attended the event as chief guest and president respectively. Sekmai MLA H Dingo, Manipur Police Telecommunication Organisation DIG Sh Dwijamani and additional director (agriculture) Khaidem Mohendra were also present as the guests of honour. Soil health cards were distributed to 150 farmers of the district during the observance.

Along with organising a day-long campaign on Rabi crops, KVK Imphal East observed the day at Leitanpekpham, Andro. Andro Khullakpa Ch Gandhar and KVK Imphal East programme coordinator Dr T Medhabati were respectively chief guest and president of the observance.

Waiton GP pradhan Surbala and Angtha GP pradhan T Manihal also attended as the guests of honour.

Soil health cards were distributed to 39 farmers and later an interaction programme between farmers and agricultural scientists was organised to mark the occasion.

In Churachandpur district, the observance was organised by KVK Churachandpur in its campus. Assistant commissioner S Thielaljoy Gangte, head of KVK Churachandpur Dr Niranjen Lal and assistant engineer horticulture and soil conservation Churachandpur Jogindro attended the event as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively. Altogether 238 farmers attended the programme and 150 soil health cards were distributed during the function.

A ‘farm quiz’ on World Soil Day observance and method demonstration on soil sample collection were the other highlights of the observance.

Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) and Green Foundation also jointly observed the day at Manipur Press Club, Imphal.

Speaking on the occasion, Ideal Girl College Imphal nutritionist Dr Ksh Bimolata stressed the importance of soil health for producing nutritious foods.

MACS project director Dr Pramodkumar urged farmers to refrain from using chemical fertilisers and pointed out that toxic substance from these fertilisers causes various health issues to human bodies.

Noting that the soil condition of the state is still in good condition, Regional Centre of Organic Farming Imphal scientist Dr V Pandey said that farmers in the state can produce foods without the help of chemical fertilisers.

Citing some examples of fertiliser free farming, he said that plantation of Ajola or Blue Green Algae in paddy field during early period can bring the same result as that of using fertilisers.

MOMA project officer K Devdutta and international agriculture consultant Hitoshi Yokota also spoke on the occasion as resource persons.

KVK Hengbung also observed World Soil Day at its campus. ADC Sadar Hills chairman Haokholal Hangshing, DC Kangpokpi T Ranjit and CAU professor Dr A Herojit attended the programme as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Around 200 farmers from across Kangpokpi and Senapati district attended the observance.

Head of KVK Hengbung Dr N Jyotsna, Dr A Herojit and Dr A Haribhushan stressed at length on imbalanced use of fertilisers and its ill effect. They also emphasised the importance and benefits of soil health card. Soil health cards and agriculture inputs were also distributed to many farmers on the occasion.

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