Soil Testing Kits for Farmers
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Gudipadi Cheruvu, Andhra Pradesh
Soil test certificates were distributed yesterday at Amma’s program in Hyderabad to 16 farmers from Gudipadi Cheruvu, Andhra Pradesh. Principal scientist Dr. Brijandera Reddy and technical assistant C. Murlider Reddy from Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) granted the certificate after testing the pH-level of water, and nitrogen, potassium and calcium (NPK analysis) in the soil upon their visit earlier in February.
“There are mobile phone shops and other technologies available in or nearby the villages. We want to improve agriculture, too, in a more scientific way, and that is easy: just using soil testing kits can improve the fields of the farmers in the villages,” explains Sreeni KR, Amrita SeRVe agricultural program officer. In January he went to Hyderabad IIRR office to plan the initiative along with Amrita SeRVe coordinator Br. BCVS Shekar.
On a visit (23rd Jan) to Kodur village in Telangana, principal scientists Dr. P. Mahendra Kumar and Dr. Arun from IIRR conducted more than 20 soil and water tests. The results were given on the spot. Based on the test result, the farmers got advice on how to improve the soil in their fields.
The test is developed by IIRR and the test kit is easy to use. “We are going to train two or three farmers and students so that the actual testing can be carried out in the village itself. This way they can be employed, and the farmers nearby can use their ‘laboratory’. The test results can be sent to IIRR for further examination to give instructions for that specific field. This way many farmers and villages can benefit of soil improvement,” Sreeni KR describes the plan.