Abohar, March 23
Union Minister Nihal Chand said on Monday that soil testing of a few samples from Punjab had put nitrogen contents at 28 per cent against standard requirement of 4 per cent.
Speaking at the agricultural science fair at Sriganganagar, he said excessive use of chemical fertiliser in Punjab had disturbed farmers’ budget besides health of the soil. The tests were conducted in his presence when he held the charge of Chemicals and Fertilisers Department, he now holds the panchayat development portfolio.
He said the Centre had sanctioned eight soil testing centres for Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts and testing was going to be mandatory at a nominal fee. This will help planning judicious use of fertilizers and farmers will be inspired to use indigenous manure and cut down expenses on spraying insecticides.
Swami Keshwanand Agriculture University Vice Chancellor BR Chhinpa exhorted farmers to go for diversification and said ‘jaitun’ could be the best substitute as olive oil mills had been set at Loonkaransar on the Sriganganagar–Bikaner highway.
Agriculture Department joint director VS Nain and NABARD scientist Maheep Pawar also gave tips.
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