The agriculture department will launch a 15-day long special campaign for seed treatment and soil testing across the state from October 17 to 31.
During the programme, the people will be made aware about how to keep their crops free from disease and soil health management. Besides, there will also be distribution of 5,000 ton treated Rabi crop among the farmers. The aim of the department is to improve quality of produce, besides increasing crop production.
Agriculture department director JC Rana said in a press statement, "Manures and fertilizers play an important role in crop production. People will be made aware about the soil health and related issues," he said.
Use of manures and fertilizers at the right time, right quantity and with proper methods of application, increases the crop yield. He said soil testing was essential for balanced use of fertilizers. "Use of fertilizers on soil test basis, markedly enhances the crop production," he added.
Rana said the department had established 11 soil-testing labs and also deployed 4 mobile soil-testing vans. To maintain soil fertility all types of chemical fertilizres, vermicompost, green manures and organic manures would be used in combined way.
"Seed testing campaign will be run on the analogy of National Immunization and Pulse Polio campaigns. The objective of this campaign shall be to get rid-off seeds of all crops infested with seed and soil borne diseases and insect pests," said Rana. He also said demonstrations were being arranged in farmers' fields for seed treatment techniques/methods to show the visual effects to the farmers.
In order to ensure the quality of agriculture inputs, 600 seed samples will be drawn and tested at seed testing laboratories at Solan, Palampur and Mandi. In addition to this 1,000 fertiliser samples, 150 insecticide samples will be drawn and tested.