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Healthy soil must to produce sufficient feed: Minister Kashiho

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, JULY 21: Minister for Soil & Water Conservation, Geology & Mining and NSMDC, V Kashiho Sangtam today called upon farmers in the State to realise that a successful agriculture is dependent on healthy soil to have sufficient produce.
“Nagaland being primarily an agrarian State with more than 70% of the population engaged in agriculture, farmers have to realize that successful agriculture is dependent on soil, that also a healthy one, to produce food that is sufficient to feed the ever-increasing population”, the minister said.
Addressing a programme to commission Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory in the Directorate of Soil & Water Conservation here today, Kashiho said fortunately, the State now has 3 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories in addition to the Soil Testing Laboratories in all districts.
These labs are fully equipped with high tech equipment capable of analyzing both macro and micro nutrients which will aid farmers in monitoring the health of soil and apply location specific management practices, he said.
The Minister also informed that block level mini soil testing labs are coming up very soon in all blocks in the State, which will cater to the soil testing needs in the remote areas and for creation of awareness amongst farmers.
With the assistance of the Central Government, efforts are being made to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers of the State in phase-wise manner and also assist them with organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers and micro nutrients based on the soil test report, he said.
“We are hopeful that with the above intervention, the health of the soil can be monitored and managed properly thus keeping soil alive and healthy for a sustainable production”, he said.
He also informed that Bio Fertilizer Production units at Rotimi Village, Zunheboto district, and Seyochung Town, Kiphire district, will be functional in a few months and proposals for another 10 Bio Fertilizer Production units are with the Union Finance Ministry for consideration.
Expressing that the State’s agriculture sector has remained primitive till date unlike other sectors, with farmers still practicing ancient methods of farming, the Minister hoped that with the stated interventions, the State Government is finally in the right track towards modernizing agriculture and making it friendly even for educated young minds besides making it a profitable and glorified enterprise.
Chief Secretary J Alam said that the Soil & Conservation Department has become a happening Department and it is at a good pace, adding that with commissioning of Mobile labs, soil testing facilities will now be available at the doorsteps of farmers.
The number of labs and landholding in Nagaland is 1,96,000, while around 90 labs would help timely issue of health cards, he said.
Calling upon all to contribute their best for agriculture development in the Sate, he said Nagaland’s strength is land as it is very fertile with a cultivable area of around 7 lack hectares.
He said the Central Government is focused on Agriculture and Allied Departments, particularly in the North East Region, and with the advancement of digital technology one can get the data and information of a particular plot and guide and help farmers.
On the other hand, Alam informed that the State Government is now focused on convergence activities with focus on one direction of all Departments to get better outcome
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary suggested realising a minimum service charge for the use of mobile labs.
Delivering the keynote address, APC Y Kikheto Sema said that Nagaland does not have scope of large and medium scale industries except agri & allied activities.
Stressing on the need for soil health cards, he said without good soil there cannot be a good harvest. “We need to treat the soil, and the SWC Department is the nodal Department to give the best service to the farming community of the State”, he said.
Visualising the importance of agriculture and allied sectors in the State, he said the Government has initiated Enhancing Landscape and Ecosystem Management project consisting of all Agriculture and Allied Departments, which has been approved and will be funded by the World Bank.
Nagaland is going to be a model state as far as soil health is concerned as soil health testing has reached to the block level, he said adding that the mobile labs should reach every nook and corner of the State so that the farming community can know the condition of their soil and the Agriculture and Allied departments can guide them towards plantation of suitable crops.
(Page News Service)