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ICAR-IISS Hosts National Campaign on Soil Health Management and Composting under LiFE

ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science in Bhopal spearheaded a National Campaign on Soil Health Management and Composting, showcasing innovative technologies to convert agro-waste into valuable composts and promote sustainable agriculture.

Saurabh Shukla
ICAR-IISS Hosts National Campaign on Soil Health Management and Composting under LiFE (Photo Source: Pexels)
ICAR-IISS Hosts National Campaign on Soil Health Management and Composting under LiFE (Photo Source: Pexels)

As part of the government's LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) mission, the ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science (IISS), Bhopal, organized a National Campaign on April 23, 2024, bringing attention to soil health management and composting. This initiative showcases the institute's pioneering efforts in developing various composting technologies, such as vermicompost, enriched composts, Ekcel decomposer, family net vessel composting, and rapo-decomposer. These innovative methods are instrumental in transforming agro-waste into invaluable composts, addressing the pressing need for sustainable agricultural practices.

In addition to composting technologies, ICAR-IISS has made significant steps in the development of microbial biofertilizers, aimed at curbing the excessive reliance on chemical fertilizers in agriculture. The institute's groundbreaking creation, the 'Mridaparikshak' minilab, serves as a vital tool for assessing soil quality, contributing substantially to the national soil health mission. The primary objective of the campaign is to foster awareness regarding soil health management and composting techniques, thereby boosting agricultural productivity and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

Dr. S.K Chaudhari, Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, underscoring the mission LiFE's goal of environmental conservation through lifestyle modifications to combat climate change. He highlighted the role of adopting a balanced approach to fertilizer usage, promoting integrated nutrient management, and advocating for the widespread adoption of organic fertilizers like composts to augment soil health. Furthermore, he urged farmers to avoid the harmful practice of crop residue burning, emphasizing its detrimental impact on air quality and soil biodiversity, advocating instead for the conversion of crop residues into nutrient-rich composts.

Dr. S.P. Datta, Director of ICAR-IISS, sounded the alarm on the alarming deterioration of soil health, posing a significant threat to agricultural sustainability and environmental well-being. He stressed the importance of judicious fertilizer application, crop rotation, and the adoption of conservation agricultural practices as viable solutions to boost soil health.

The event featured informative lectures delivered by experts on the crucial role of biofertilizers in agriculture, the promotion of natural farming practices, and the implementation of conservation strategies for sustainable agricultural development. Additionally, school students actively participated in LiFE mission competitions, while farmers benefitted from hands-on training sessions on advanced composting techniques at the institute's composting facility. Notably, farmers were also provided with vermicompost and Ekcel decomposer packets for immediate agricultural use.

The campaign witnessed active participation from scientists, staff members from various ICAR institutes, state agricultural universities, government representatives, farmers, and school students, with a total of 1000 participants engaging both online and offline modes.

This collaborative effort highlights the collective commitment towards fostering sustainable agricultural practices and environmental protection.

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