Minister for Horticulture Syed Basharat Bukhari and Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today inaugurated Pesticide Testing Laboratory at Directorate of Horticulture Kashmir.
Minister of State for Horticulture and Education, Priya Sethi and Vice Chairmen Horticulture Development Board Abdul Salam Reshi were also present on the occasion.
Built at a cost of Rs 35 lakh, the laboratory is equipped with three system technology which includes Gas Liquid Chromatography, Volumetric Analyses and Spectrophotometer. It was informed that currently twenty molecules are being tested in the laboratory.
Further, it was given out that to test rest of the molecules found in pesticides, laboratory required installation of High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Infrared Photo spectrometer.
Basharat Bukhari said that the laboratory equipped with latest technology will go a long way in ensuring adherence to national standards for various horticulture produce along with keeping a check on the menace of sale of spurious pesticides in the province. He added that this will lead the state on the path of certified growth by regulating the use, quantity and quality of pesticides and fungicides.
Appreciating the efforts of the Horticulture Department, Basharat Bukhari assured that the laboratory will be soon be equipped with remaining technology so that all molecules can be tested with satisfactory results to motivate farmers towards better farming practices.
Speaking on the occasion, Altaf Bukhari stressed for perspective planning for improving quality and production of Horticulture crops by integrated implementation of viable, eco-friendly, validated and refined technologies.
He stressed for conducting tests without compromising with quality of results and to maintain trust of farmer community to motivate them towards better farming practices.
Appreciating the efforts of Horticulture Department for establishing and making the laboratory functional within the deadlines, Priya Sethi said integrated approach with appropriate quality control is required to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable measures for boom in Horticulture sector.
Later, the Ministers visited Soil & Leaf Testing Lab where a team of experts gave live demonstrations of various testes conducted in the lab to track health conditions of plantation.
The Ministers were informed that with advancement in technology, the Lab analyzes ten parameters to check out soil and plant health which include PH, EC, Organic Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Copper and readings are uploaded on Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Government of India web portal, from where farmers can directly download Soil Health Card.
The Ministers were informed that the Soil and Leaf Testing Lab has conducted awareness cum live demonstration of soil sample collection technique in and across the State and in coming months all untapped areas will be covered.
Basharat Bukhari directed the concerned for constituting teams of experts who will collect soil and leaf sample from ground to ensure better soil and plant health in and across the State.
He said that horticulture industry has the capacity to change the fortunes of not only the farming community but the entire State with its cascading benefits. He said currently horticulture sector of the state produces 6000 metric tons of fruit but it has potential to produce 40,000 metric tons.
Director Horticulture Kashmir Mathoora Masoom, Director CITH Dr Desh Beer Singh, Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing Manzoor Ahmad Qadri and Chief Horticulture Officers, and Horticulture Officers were present on the occasion.