An on-site training on protocols for geo-referenced soil, compost, water and leaf tissue sampling in coffee and black pepper plantations had 100 participants from across India. The training was part of the ICRISAT-Naandi project, and included the unveiling of a handbook on Soil and Plant Sampling in English and Telugu for use by field-level functionaries.
The training program held from 25 to 27 November had participants from Araku, Maharashtra, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Punjab. “Regenerative agriculture practiced by Naandi is a model to combat climate change and ICRISAT will support their vision by standardizing soil regeneration protocols for achieving sustainable food security,” said Dr Pushpajeet Choudhari, Manager, Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory, ICRISAT. Senior Scientific Officers, Mr Vijayaranganatha and Mr Satish PV assisted Dr Choudhari in conducting the training.
The Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory at ICRISAT has been officially registered with the International Network on Fertilizer Analysis – a network created in December 2020, to build and strengthen the capacity of laboratories in fertilizer analysis and harmonize fertilizer quality standards.
Dr Pushpajeet L Choudhari, Manager of the soil laboratory, said that testing serves as a preventive measure to avoid the misuse of fertilizers leading to better soil management.
“The soil laboratory was also recently accredited by the FAO Global Soil Laboratory Network and CRISAT is successfully contributing to harmonizing the SOPs of soil analysis drawing upon the leading capacity of the Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory”
This work supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda 2030for Sustainable Development, and the FAO mandate on food security and nutrition.
A training program on analyzing soil using Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MP-AES) was recently conducted in Odisha, India, for staff of referral soil testing laboratories. Analysts from the referral labs were trained on standard preparations, calibration of high-end equipment and SOPs of micronutrient analysis using MPAES.
Under the Odisha Bhoochetana project, two referral soil testing laboratories were upgraded at Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur, Odisha state. The labs cater to the state’s need for precision analysis of a large number of soil, water, fertilizer and plant samples. The referral labs started functioning in convergence mode and are now self-reliant, with staff at ICRISAT’s Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory (CRAL) providing support virtually owing to the pandemic.
The recent training was conducted onsite during 5-8 April 2021 by ICRISAT’s Scientific Officers, Mr Satish Venkata and Mr Chenna Vijayaranganatha, with the guidance of Dr Pushpajeet L Choudhari, Manager-CRAL.
Dr Choudhari said, “Referral soil testing laboratories will serve as nodal agency for data validation and cross-learning. There is need for such laboratories in every state of the country. These labs will help leverage the whole soil health assessment framework, eventually benefiting the farming community.”