In a bid to provide farmers an easy tool to check nutrients in the soil before opting for suitable crops in their farms 10 mini-labs (Mridaparikshak) for soil testing would be installed in Bokaro district. “The Agriculture Department has given an approval to install 10 mini-labs across the district, out of 10, five would be come-up at Chandrapura block,” informed an official.
“We have planned to install mini-labs at Chandrapura, Telo, Taranari, Paplo and Dudga and five technicians have selected for work”, added the official. The Mridaparikshak is a digital mobile quantitative mini-lab which can provide soil testing service to the farmers. Lab at Chandrapur station road will work round the clock. The farmers will get free advice there but for soil testing, they will have to pay a nominal fee fixed by the government, informed the official.
The farmers will also get Soil Health Card (SHC) facilities there. SHC Scheme is an important scheme of the government that aims at promoting soil test based and balanced use of fertilisers to enable farmers to realise higher yields at lower cost, he said. Briefing about the labs official said, these mini-labs will determine important soil parameters such as soil pH, EC, organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and micronutrients like zinc, boron and iron.
These mini-labs would be equipped with soil sampling tools, balance, shaker, hot plate, and a Smart Soil Pro (an
instrument for determining the soil parameters and displaying of fertiliser nutrient recommendations). It can be operated by any young educated farmers or rural youths with the primary training of its basic features.
“We have the plan to provide crop and soil specific fertiliser recommendations to the farmers on their mobile through SMS in near future,” added the official.