By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 5 Dec: “World Soil Day” was celebrated at ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, here, today. This year, the theme for World Soil Day is “Be the solution to soil pollution”. State Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal was the Chief Guest. Guests of Honour MLA Harbans Kapoor and Gauri Shankar, Director, Agriculture, were also present on the occasion.
The programme began with an oath-taking ceremony to protect the soil resources. As many as 40 Scientists of ICAR-IISWC, officers of the State Agriculture Department, 25 Officer Trainees, 65 technical, administrative and other supporting staff of the Institute, 114 students from Baba Farid Institute of Technology and IITM Agro Eco, 53 farmers from Sahaspur Block participated in the programme.
Subodh Uniyal highlighted the importance of soil and water conservation in daily life and congratulated the Institute for its efforts in this direction. He quoted the example of Israel as a country for its high end agriculture technology like use of drip irrigation and concept of watering only plants that could help in saving a lot of water and reducing soil pollution. He claimed the State Agriculture Department had made progress in distribution of Soil Health Cards under the scheme of “Soil Health Mission”. He urged the farmers to diversify agriculture and adopt allied sectors for doubling of farmer’s income and also spoke about schemes of the State Government to improve the condition of farmers.
MLA Harbans Kapoor indicated the importance of utilising proper fertilisers for increasing farmer’s income and highlighted the great role the Institute had played in achieving it. Director Gauri Shankar spoke about the importance of soil testing and different nutrient deficiencies in the hilly areas which needed to be focussed on and dealt with. RC Srivastava, Director, Horticulture, also shared his thoughts on this occasion
Fifty Soil Health Cards were distributed on the occasion to farmers from Sahaspur Block, which were prepared by the Department of Agriculture under the guidance of Vijay Deorari, Chief Agriculture Officer. Guman Singh, farmer’s representative, Kanchiwala, spoke about his experience on the use of soil test for proper dose of fertilisers like K, S and micronutrients like B, which had improved the farming of peas in his village.
Dr PR Ojasvi, I/c Director, ICAR-IISWC, briefed the gathering about the Institute’s work and efforts towards soil and water conservation and long relationship with the farmers. Dr D Mandal, National Fellow, highlighted the importance of World Soil Day and its celebration and the importance of soil for sustaining life on earth. This was complemented by Dr DV Singh, who stressed on the importance of Healthy Soil for Healthy Life.
The farmers were also guided on the use of the Soil Health Card and proper use of fertilisers in the field based on the recommendation provided by the card. The students of B.Sc. Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture from BFIT and IITM were exposed to the Institute research activities through their visit to Institute Museum and Laboratory, which was conducted by Dr Gopal Kumar, Dr UK Maurya, Dr M Sankar and Dr Trisha Roy. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr NK Sharma. It was conducted by Dr. Sangeeta N. Sharma. The programme was coordinated by Dr DV Singh, Principal Scientist (Soils).