JAMMU: Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari on Wednesday inaugurated Hi-Tech Mobile Soil Testing Lab at Agriculture Complex, Talab Tillo. He also inaugurated two Mobile Soil Testing Labs of Kashmir Division through Video Conferencing.
These mobile laboratories fitted with latest gadgets and soil testing equipments for macro & micro-nutrients have been established under Central Sponsored Scheme “Soil Health Management” component of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) 2015-16.
On the occasion, Bukhari said the mobile labs will provide soil testing facility to the farmers at their doorsteps. The labs have facility for analysing micro-nutrients, macro-nutrients and physical/chemical parameters with a capacity of 50 samples per day. The nutrient status of a particular village/area can be worked out in a single day thus will save the farmer’s time. With the addition of this fully equipped Mobile Soil Testing Lab the capacity of soil testing will increase by 15000 per annum in the state. All existing Mobile Soil Testing Labs in the state have only the facility of analysing macro-nutrients only whereas; these type of Mobile Soil Testing Lab with micro-nutrients facility are introduced for the first time in our state.
Later, Bukhari also inaugurated the Induction Course for recently regularised Village Agriculture Extension Assistants (VAEAs) of Phase-II. He made a special mention of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY) and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) which will be a game changer in agriculture sector in coming years. He further said that under PMKSY 15 District Irrigation Plans (DIPs) have been recommended for its approval and submission to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Government of India.
Director Agriculture, Jammu Dr SS Jamwal also addressed the newly appointed Village Agriculture Extension Assistants (VAEAs) and stressed upon them to work honestly and dedicatedly for the uplift and betterment of farming community. He further said that the role of VAEAs would be pivotal in the implementation of various ongoing central and Farmers Welfare Schemes.