Online data on soil to improve crop output

June 05, 2014 10:26 am | Updated 10:26 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

: Farmers in Thrissur and Wayanad will soon have an online data support system to help them improve soil fertility for enhanced crop output.

The Department of Soil Survey and Soil Conservation is geared up to launch a Web-based information system that will provide them with scientific inputs for better agricultural planning and resource management. The system is designed to help famers assess the soil fertility status of their holdings and adopt appropriate nutrient management strategies for better yield.

Named Micro level Soil Information System, it will feature a panchayat-level resource inventory with cadastral details on a 1:5000 scale. The system will host information on the chemical and physical characteristics of soil, nutrient status, including major, secondary, and micro nutrients as well as soil capability and crop suitability. It will also have secondary data on the socio-economic conditions in each panchayat.

The pilot project has been implemented in 78 panchayats and one municipality in Thrissur and 26 panchayats and one municipality in Wayanad. “Soil maps and fertility maps have been prepared for every panchayat in the two districts and the data is being converted to a GIS platform,” says P.N. Premachandran, Director, Soil Survey and Soil Conservation. The maps will be published on a portal to be launched by the department next month.

The system is expected to provide valuable inputs for programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme. The field work for the soil information system has commenced in Malappuam and Idukki and plans are afoot to extend the service to farmers in other districts in due course. Mr.Premachandran said efforts were on to distribute soil health cards to 7,500 farmers during the current year. As many as 35,000 farmers across the state have already been issued the cards.

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