Soil and fertiliser testing laboratory established in Makwanpurgadhi Rural MunicipalityAt the laboratory, the farmers can get soil tested for nutrient deficiencies and ascertain fertiliser requirements.
A Soil and Fertiliser Testing Laboratory has been established in Makwanpurgadhi Rural Municipality, Makwanpur, for the benefit of local farmers. At the laboratory, farmers can get soil tested to accurately determine nutrient deficiencies and fertiliser requirements in soil.
Amid a function on Thursday, Dawadorje Lama, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives of Province-3, inaugurated the laboratory in Baghthali, Makwanpurgadhi Rural Municipality, Ward No. 6. “This laboratory will help farmers calculate the nutritious level of a soil sample,” said Lama, adding that prior to the opening of this lab, most farmers were cultivating crops and vegetables without any research on the soil type.
The laboratory is the first of its kind in the district.
Tika Dahal, a farmer of Makwanpurgadhi who has an organic farm, said, “We didn’t have the means or the technique to study soil and fertilisers earlier. That may be the reason behind our low harvests, even when we did our best to grow crops.” He added that now farmers like him can cultivate crops and vegetables as per the soil composition of their fields after testing their soil samples.
Chandrakant Chaudhary, a technician of the rural municipality, said that they also have adequate skilled human resources to run the laboratory. According to him, the laboratory can measure levels of macro-nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate and potassium and micro-nutrients like magnesium, zinc, copper and minerals in the soil. “These tests will reveal whether there is too little or too much of a nutrient and also promote environmental quality,” said Chaudhary. The laboratory can test 20 soil samples at once, technicians say.
A majority of locals of the rural municipality (in eight wards) grow vegetables and crops for their living. Bidur Humagain, chairman of the rural municipality, said that farmers have to pay Rs 100 individually to get their soil tested and they have to wait for 15 days to receive their soil report. “We have provided 75 percent discount to farmers to conduct a soil test,” said Humagain, adding that the laboratory will also benefit farmers of neighbouring locals units.
The provincial government has invested Rs 3 million and the rural municipal office has invested Rs 1 million to establish the laboratory. This year, the rural municipality has set aside Rs 10.5 million for the agriculture sector, said Chaudhary.
Yogendra Karki, agriculture secretary of the province, said that soil fertility tests are essential to increase farm yields. “The local unit should raise awareness among farmers so that they understand about actual soil nutrient deficiencies and fertiliser requirements,” said Karki.