Refraining from overrated fertilization can be the crucial means of protecting soil health from further degradation together with boosting crop production to ensure food security for the gradually rising population.
Substantial and sustainable promotion of balanced fertilization must be ensured everywhere in the farming system as the present government has been working intensively and relentlessly to this end.
Soil health experts made the observation while addressing the inaugural session of a five-day training course titled "Updating Upazila Land and Soil Resources Utilisation Guide" being held at the zonal office conference hall of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) on Saturday.
Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) hosted the workshop on behalf of its 'Strengthening of Soil Resource and Research Facilities (SRSRF)' Project for around 50 Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAOs) coming from Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj and Natore districts. SRDI Director General Muhammad Kamaruzzaman addressed the session as the chief guest while DAE Additional Director Nazrul Islam and its Deputy Director Dr Motaleb Hossain spoke as special guests with SRDI Chief Scientific Officer Nazmul Islam in the chair. SRDI Chief Scientific Officer Shahidul Islam, Principal Scientific Officers Dr Nurul Islam and Faruque Hossain and Senior Scientific Officer Sadia Afrin also spoke disseminated their expertise on the importance of soil test based fertilization.
The soil health experts unanimously viewed that utmost emphasis should be given on habituating the grassroots farmers towards soil test-based balanced fertilization. There would be no fertilizer crisis in the country if the farmers were enriched with the knowledge of balanced fertilization. Field level officials and others concerned, particularly the SAAO, have a vital role to play to disseminate and expand the knowledge among the farmers in general.
Soil expert Kamaruzzaman called for creating awareness among farmers on using appropriate and balanced fertiliser in soil to enhance productivity as well as protect public health. He said the SAAOs should take the responsibility of letting the farmers know about the importance of using suitable fertilizer based on the condition of the soil as soil nutrients have gradually been declining due to disproportionate use of fertilizer creating a negative impact on the soil productivity.
Lesser use of organic matter and little or no use of leguminous green manure and biofertilizers have also been detected as the degradable factors. However, soil test based fertilization has become indispensable to maintain soil properties positive to growth of plants, he added.
In the workshop, the participants are being given knowledge related to detecting spurious fertilizer and sample analysis, available mobile soil test laboratory facilities to detect soil productivity and degradation and fertilizer using guidelines.