Union minister G Kishan Reddy on September 24 inaugurated Nagaland’s first soil testing laboratory.
Located at the Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation in state capital Kohima, the lab was funded by North Eastern Council (NEC) under the Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) at a cost of Rs 3.71 crore.
DoNER minister Reddy said the Centre has been at the forefront of ensuring that soil quality is effectively managed to make agriculture more productive, sustainable and climate-resilient.
Soil health management is one of the most important interventions under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), he said.
The establishment of a soil testing laboratory will help boost agriculture in the state by enabling systematic collection of soil samples and analysis, he said.
After taking a round of the newly-constructed laboratory, the minister said: “It is a state-of-the-art system which will benefit the agricultural fraternity in Nagaland.”
State land revenue minister Neiba Kronu said Nagaland is rich in biodiversity and the soil has the potential to grow anything.
The state’s soil is considered to be the youngest in the world and very fertile, he claimed.
Apprising Reddy of the drought-like situation in the state with delayed rainfall hampering agriculture and allied sectors, Kronu urged him to help in mitigating the crisis.
The laboratory will assess the nutrient and fertiliser status of the soil. It would issue soil health cards and conduct soil health management awareness on balanced use of fertilisers.
On arrival, the Union minister held a closed-door review meeting with the state’s planning and coordination department and other implementing departments of schemes under the Ministry of DoNER.