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The golden jubilee semnar of FAI Eastern region on Sustaining Soil Health and Ensuring Food Security


The golden jubilee semnar of FAI Eastern region on Sustaining Soil Health and Ensuring Food Security

On 21-22 November, the Golden Jubilee Seminar, organised by the Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) to honour the 50th anniversary of its Eastern region division, took place in Kolkata. The seminar was entitled “Sustaining Soil Health and Ensuring Food Security”. It was held at the Lecture Theatre of the National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibre Technology (NIRJAFT).

International Potash Institute (IPI) sponsored the seminar. Neeraj Awasthi, the IPI Coordinator for the region, and NIRJAFT faculty members were invited to speak about potassium nutrition.

During the first session of the seminar, Mr Murthy spoke about the history of FAI Eastern region division and its development over the past 50 years, and emphasised FAI’s track record of working on sustaining soil quality in Eastern India, with assistance from the researchers of the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (ICAR), State Agricultural University, IPI, and the International Plant Nutrition Institute(IPNI).

Dr Dipak Sarkar, Director of the National Bureau of Soil Science & Land Use Planning (NBSS & LUP) in Nagpur, made a detailed presentation on the national soil quality scenario analysis. He noted that the soil quality is deteriorating due to lack of balanced nutrition, and emphasised the importance of integrated nutrient management for sustaining soil health and ensuring food security.

Dr Aminul Islam, former Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, spoke extensively about Bangladesh soil and agriculture development.

Dr D.S.Yadav, Director of Marketing of the Fertiliser Association of India, presented the country’s nutrient management scenario analysis and explained the existing fertiliser policy and its impact on the farming practices. He argued that the current policy leads to serious nutrient management imbalances in crop cultivation. Dr Yadav posed a challenge to the researchers to find out the optimum economics for balanced nutrition of different crops under the current nutrient base policy, taking into account the rising prices of phosphate and potassium fertilisers.

At the first session, FAI also honoured certain faculty members, including Dr Dipak Sarkar, Dr Aminul Islam and Dr S.K. Singh, Area Director of NBSS&LUP, for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.

The first presentation of the technical session was made by Dr Pradeep Dey, Project Coordinator for Soil Test Crop Response project of the Indian Institute of Soil Science. Bhopal and Dr Dey spoke about the Indian soils’ response to various nutrients in different locations.

During the second set of presentations, Neeraj Awasthi talked about the role of potassium in balanced fertilisation, soil productivity and quality. This presentation covered the fertiliser’s impact on the qualitative parameters of different crops, based on the findings of the research conducted during implementation of a number of IPI projects.

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