Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed the state agriculture department to draw a broad roadmap for setting up an agricultural university in Barak Valley and a horticultural university in the hill areas.

Chairing a review meeting of the agriculture department, Sonowal said that an agricultural university and a horticultural university would boost the agri-horti sector in the state besides promoting the socio-economic condition of the farmers of Barak Valley and Hill District Regions of the state. He also asked the department to draw a blueprint to enable students from other Northeast states to study in these universities.

In another development, Sonowal asked the department to prepare Soil Health Cards to trace out the areas afflicted with diseases caused by arsenic and fluoride. He asked the agriculture department officials to take the help of Assam Agricultural University to provide expertise for preparing the soil health cards. Sonowal asked the department to prepare the ground for setting up of micro laboratories to undertake technical tasks of soil testing and preparing soil health cards.

The department informed Sonowal that it has already collected specimen soil form 28 lakh farming areas. Sonowal said that once the testing is done, necessary arrangements should be undertaken for GIS mapping so that investors get the information at the tip of their fingers.

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He asked the department to carry out quality tests for the seed consignments sent from other states to Assam to assess their yielding capacity so that the beneficiary farmers do not deprive of their benefits.

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