Soil

  • Soil Test
  • N P M
  • Mission Project To Boost Productivity in Rainfed Areas of Andhra Pradesh.
  • New project Under Soil Testing Cell

SOIL TEST
  • In Andhra Pradesh, Soil Sampling and Soil testing programme is organized in a systematic manner to evaluate the fertility status, to identify the soil related problems (Salinity/ Sodicity) if any to improve fertility and to apply fertilizer based on soil test data.

    Objectives of the Programme:

    1. To assess the fertility status and to furnish soil test based fertilizer recommendation to farmers for obtaining optimum yields.

    2.To identify the soil problems (salinity/sodicity) if any. To

    3.reclaim the problematic soils.

    4.To implement soil test results for soil fertility management as per the requirement of crop.

    Infrastructure:

        In Andhra Pradesh the soil testing programme is carried out by a network of 91 soil testing laboratories comprising of 2 Regional Soil Testing Labs, 26 District Soil Testing Labs, 5 Mobile Soil Testing Labs and 58 Mini Soil Testing Labs atAgricultural Market Committee level.

    Sl. No. Type of Soil Testing Lab Nos Facility
    1. Regional Soil Testing Labs 2. Macro & Micro nutrient & water analysis
    2. District Soil Testing Lab 26 Macro & Micro nutrient & water analysis
    3. Mobile labs 5 Macro nutrients
    4. Agricultural Market Committee level labs 58 Macro nutrients
    Total 91
    Soil Testing Campaign:

    The Department of Agriculture organized soil testing campaign from 1st to 8th April 2013. During campaign, the departmental staff will create awareness about the soil health and it is proposed to collect 10 samples per village.

    Objectives of the programme:

    1)To create awareness among farmers regarding the importance of soil testing, judicious and integrated use of fertilizer based on soil test data.

    2)To improve soil health through green manuring

    3)To promote use of amendments for reclamation of acidic/ alkaline soils.

    4)To promote use of micronutrients for improving soil health & productivity.

    It is targeted to analyse 2, 68, 000 samples for macronutrients, 1, 54, 000 samples for micronutrients and 22, 100 water samples with a budget outlay of Rs.59.08 Lakhs.

    Farming Situation wise Soil Sample Collection:

    The main objective of soil samples collection farming situation wise is to monitor the soil fertility changes over a period.

    In Andhra Pradesh there are 240 Farming Situations. It is planned to collect soil samples @ 15 samples from each farming situation

    Distribution of Soil Health Cards:

    Soil Health plays a vital role to ensure agricultural production in a sustainable manner. Intensive farming, while increasing food production, has caused not only major nutrients deficiencies but also secondary as well as micronutrient deficiencies. Timely correction measures therefore necessitate balanced use of fertilizers based on soil test data.

    The Department of Agriculture planned to collect soil samples @ 10 samples per revenue village to assess the soil fertility and distribute soil health cards to the farmers duly advocating the farmers to adopt soil test based fertilizer recommendations taking into consideration of the farming situation and major crops grown in each village.




NATIONAL PROJECT ON MANAGEMENT OF SOIL HEALTH & FERTILITY:

   The Centrally Sponsored Scheme "National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility" has been under implementation from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

Objectives of the Programme:
  • Facilitate and promote Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) through judicious use of chemical To fertilizers, including secondary and micro nutrients, in conjunction with organic manures and bio-fertilizers for improving soil health and productivity.

  • Strengthen soil testing facilities and provide soil test based recommendations to farmers for improving To soil fertility and economic returns to farmers.

  • Provide soil health through green manuring.

  • Facilitate and promote use of soil amendments for reclamation of acidic/ alkaline soils for improving To fertility and crop productivity.

  • Promote use of micro nutrients for improving efficiency of fertilizer use.

  • Upgrade the skill and knowledge of STL/ extension staff and farmers and their capacity building through To training and demonstration on farmers fields regarding benefits of balanced use of fertilizers.

  • Ensure quality control of fertilizers through strengthening of fertilizer quality control facility including To training to enforcement officers of State Governments for effective implementation of "Fertilizer Control Order".

  • Provide financial assistance for upgrading and setting up of STLs/ Fertilizer Testing Laboratories and To various activities for promoting balanced use of fertilizers.

Benefits of the programme:
  • Increase in no. of soil & fertilizer labs thus enhancing the analysing capacity. Strengthening of existing Soil Testing Labs & Fertilizer Quality Control Labs.

  • Increase in usage of Micronutrients.

  • Gradual shifting of cultivation from inorganic to organic can be achieved by encouraging the usage of organic manures.

Guidelines of the programme:
  • the state level, the Project Sanctioning cum Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of Principal At Secretary (Agri.) identifies and recommends the project proposals and monitors the project in the state.

  • The district level, the scheme will be implemented through the Agriculture Technology Management At Agency (ATMA), PD,ATMAis responsible for monitoring the project in the district.

  • Department ofAgriculture is nodal department for implementing the scheme.

  • SAMETI is the nodal agency for operating the scheme funds with the approval of Commissioner & Director ofAgriculture,Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.

Components that are being taken up under the scheme: 
1) Strengthening of Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs):

1)Setting up of new STLs & MSTLs

II)Strengthening of existing STLs

III)Capacity building through training of STL staff/extension officers / farmers and field demonstrations / workshop etc.

IV)Creation of data bank for balanced use of fertilizers which is site specific

V)Adoption of villages by STLs through Frontline Field Demonstrations.

VI)Preparation of digital district soil maps & Global positioning system (GPS) based soil fertility monitoring.

2) Promoting use of Integrated Nutrient Management:

I) Promotion of Organic Manuring

II)Promotion of soil amendments (lime / basic slag) in acidic soils.

III)Promotion & distribution of Micronutrients.

3) Strengthening of Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratories (FQCLs):

I) Strengthening / up-grading of State FQCLs

II)Setting up of new FQCLs by State Government

II)Setting up of Fertilizer Testing Labs by private / cooperative sectors under PPP Mode for advisory purpose.

Sharing Pattern:
  • Setting up of new Static Soil Testing Laboratory is 50:50 (Central & State Share) limited to Rs. 30 lakhs as one time subsidy.

  • Setting up of new Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory is 75:25 (Central & State Share) limited to Rs. 30 lakhs as one time subsidy.

  • Promotion of Organic Manures @ Rs. 500/- per ha. by GOI.

  • Promotion & Distribution of Micronutrients @ Rs. 500/- per ha. by GOI.

Budget Source:

Centrally Sponsored Scheme "National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility".

1.Strengthening of existing STLs:

It is proposed to strengthen the existing Soil Testing Labs with Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) or any other equipment which needs replacement.

2.Training for STLstaff & extension officers:

It is proposed to organize (22) trainings for the STL staff & extension officers in all the (22) districts of the State @ (1) training per district @ Rs 25,000/- per each training.

Under this, the Staff will be trained on balanced use of fertilizers, importance of soil testing in soil fertility management, sampling methodology, testing protocols and interpretation of soil test results and calculation of nutrient requirement.

3.Training for Farmers:

It is proposed to organize (440) trainings to farmers @ Rs 10,000/- per training. (220) trainings during Kharif and (220) trainings during Rabi season. Two days training programme on Balanced use of Fertilizers to farmers will be organized in all the (22) districts @ (20) trainings per district.

4.Field Demonstrations by STLs:

It is proposed to organize (208) Field demonstrations @ Rs 10,000/- per demonstration. (104) demonstrations will be organized during Kharif 2013 @ (4) demonstrations per STL. The remaining (104) demonstrations will be organized during Rabi 2013-14.

Each demonstration plot will be divided into two equal parts i.e. half acre control plot and half acre treated plot. In the control plot the farmer will adopt the existing practice and in treated plot the soil test based balanced fertilization will be taken up and comparison of yields between both the plots will be noted.

At the time of harvest, Field Day will be organized to create awareness on the impact and usefulness of balanced and soil test based fertilization practice.

5.Adoption of village by STLs through Frontline Field Demonstration:

It is proposed to organize (520) Frontline Field demonstrations @ Rs 20000/- per demonstration. (260) demonstrations will be organized during Kharif 2013 @ (10) demonstrations per STL. The remaining (260) demonstrations will be organized during Rabi 2013-14.

Ten farmers belonging to the adopted village will be selected. One acre field for each farmer will be selected and soil samples will be collected from the fields well in advance of the sowing season. The selected fields will be sown as per the recommendations based on soil test reports. At the time of maturity or when the crop is in good growth condition, field day will be conducted for (50) farmers to explain the requirement and usefulness of soil test based fertilization and importance of soil amendments.

6.Promotion of Organic Manuring:

In order to improve the organic matter content of the soils & in view of increasing fertilizer prices on rampant basis, it is proposed to establish compost pits/ vermi compost units in the farmers' fields and also in order to improve soil microbial activity, it is proposed to distribute bio-fertilizers covering an area of 33550 ha in the State.

7.Promotion and distribution of Micronutrients:

In recent studies the deficiency of Zinc is noticed in the soils of Andhra Pradesh by which the nutrient uptake is hampered affecting the productivity of crop adversely. The application of Zinc in the previous years has resulted in increased production and productivity of paddy besides quality of the produce, hence it is highly beneficial in the interest of the farming community.

Hence it is proposed to promote & distribute ZnSO4 covering an area of 1,44, 000 ha in the State.

8.Promotion & Distribution of Green Manure Seed:

It is proposed to distribute 55,250 qtls of green manure seed viz. Dhiancha, Sunhemp & Pillipesara seed in order to improve the soil health.

9.Strengthening of the existing State Fertilizer Quality Control Labs:

It is proposed to strengthen (5) existing Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratories towards purchase of new equipments as per the requirement of the lab and also recurring expenditure for the five labs

10.Strengthening of Single Window Diagnostic Labs:

There are (17) Single Window Diagnostic Labs in the State for analysis of seed & fertilizer samples which are located in the Soil Testing Labs. No funds are earmarked for strengthening of these labs. Hence an amount of Rs 2.00 lakhs per each lab is proposed towards strengthening of these labs



MISSION PROJECT TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY IN RAINFED AREAS OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Introduction:

           India's agricultural growth has been sufficient to move the country from severe food crises of the 1960s to aggregate food surpluses today. Underlying this growth were massive public investments in irrigation, agricultural research and extension, rural infrastructure, farm credit and rural development programs. India's agricultural sector, however, faces severe challenges for the future. Despite sizeable national food stocks (30 million tons in 1995), widespread poverty and hunger remain because agricultural and national economic growth have not adequately benefitted disadvantaged regions and the poor. The demand for basic staples, non-food grains and exports is increasing. At the same time, resources are shrinking and the productivity of some resources already being utilized is threatened by environmental degradation. Growth in total factor productivity is reported to have declined slightly in major crops. Returns to investment in agricultural research and rural infrastructure are reported to be high, but these investments remain low.

          Such vast areas as of now consume hardly 25% of total fertilizer consumption of the country. Due to poor level of management, crop productivity is also very low resulting in socio - economic backwardness of the people.

          Rainfed agriculture accounts for about two-thirds of total cropped area, nearly half of the total value of agricultural output. Nearly half of all food grains are grown under rainfed conditions, and hundreds of millions of poor rural people depend on rainfed agriculture as the primary source of their livelihoods.

          There is a need to identify the opportunities for stimulating agricultural growth and reducing poverty and environmental degradation in rainfed areas. Developing strategies for rainfed areas is difficult because of their diversity in terms of agro-ecological characteristics, infrastructural development and other socioeconomic variables. Across villages within a district, for example, there is wide variation in access to paved roads and public transportation to market centers. Similar diversity of agricultural systems is found even at the local level. Individual villages in the semi-arid regions, for example, often contain numerous soil types with widely differing crop production potential. Irrigation wells are found in practically every village, so irrigated and rainfed agriculture co-exist almost everywhere.

          In the past two decades, the nutrient response ratio, which is the ratio of foodgrain productivity to nutrient consumption, has seen a steady decline. From 14.07 in 1990-91 to 8.59 in 2010-11, this reflects poor soil health management, despite the record grain production in recent years. Experts attribute this to the intensive agriculture practices in the past half a century, which resulted in the mining of secondary and micro nutrients like sulphur, zinc and boron in the soil

          In Andhra Pradesh, out of 148 lakh hectares of cultivable land, nearly 105 lakh hectares is under rainfed agriculture, with 65% area under red soils and 25% area under black soils.

Available Zinc in soils of Andhra Pradesh: Available zinc is deficient in 68.72% of soils of Andhra Pradesh and sufficient in 31.28% of soils.

Available Sulphur in Soils of Andhra Pradesh: Available Sulphur is deficient in soils of Andhra Pradesh. It is 20-30% deficient in soils of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram, 31-40% deficient in soils of Guntur, Adilabad, Krishna, West Godavari and Srikakulam, 41-50% deficient in soils of Nizamabad, Rangareddy, Hyderabad, Nalgonda, Khammam, Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor, 51-60% deficient in soils of East Godavari, Medak, Warangal, Mahaboobnagar, Kurnool andAnantapur, 61-70% deficient in soils of YSR Kadapa and Karimnagar.

Yield gaps between irrigated and rainfed areas of important crops 

      The productivity levels can be improved significantly by providing major inputs like water & fertilizers. Excessive fertilizer usage not only wastes the limited resources but also pollutes the environment. Deficit application, however may limit the growth of the crop. Due to the large spatial variation of the agricultural field environment, (Soil, terrain, climate etc.), location specific soil health information and its management is critical in crop growth management.

      Therefore, application of fertilizers based on soil test is advocated to have optimum yields by applying recommended doses of fertilizers.

      Recent studies have revealed that application of small quantities of micronutrients can make a big difference in terms of increased crop yields (33-65%) and economic profits.

      So, the Department of Agriculture has taken up an innovative approach to adopt soil test based recommendations along with good management practices (soils, crop & water management) including improved varieties and sustainable use of natural resources through a mission mode project.

      The overall goal of the project is to increase average productivity of target crops in the selected districts by 20-25% in four years.

The specific objectives of the Project:

1)To adopt soil test based recommendations along with good management practices (soils, crop & water management) including improved varieties to enhance productivity of the selected crops by 20-25% over a period of four years.

2)To undertake representative soil sampling to identify micro and macro nutrient deficiencies of the soils.

3)To adopt this mission mode through different schemes of the department in selected clusters to reduce the gap in dissemination of knowledge.

4)To obtain the maximum yield from the area under cultivation also by safeguarding farmers' interest to obtain profitable yields.

5)To strengthen the institutional mechanizms such as inputs supply, farm extension through farm facilitators for all categories of farmers in the state through capacity development, convergence, collective action.

6)To promote organic matter building practices which support the long term sustainability and enhance productivity.

Guidelines of the Project:

1. To create co-ordination cell for monitoring the project.

Formation of State level coordination committee                               -The committee consists of

Commissioner & Director ofAgriculture                                             -Chairman

Additional Director ofAgriculture - IV                                                -Member Secretary

Joint Director ofAgriculture (SC)                                                      - Member -

Joint Director ofAgriculture (Seeds)                                                 - Member -

Joint Director ofAgriculture (Fertilizer)                                             - Member -

Joint Director ofAgriculture (M&E)                                                   - Member -

Commissioner, Rural Development                                                   - Member -

Director of Research,ANGRAU                                                         - Member -

Formation of District Coordination Committee                                    -The committee consists of

Joint Director ofAgriculture                                                               -Chairman

Project Director,ATMA                                                                     - Member Secretary -

DDA, FTC                                                                                      - Member -

ADA, STL                                                                                       - Member -

Co-ordinator, DAATTC                                                                     - Member -

Program Co-ordiantor, KVK                                                             - Member -

PD, DWMA                                                                                     - Member -

CPO                                                                                              - Member -

Formation of Mandal Co-ordination Committee                                  -The Committee consists of

Assistant Director ofAgriculture®                                                    -Chairman

MandalAgricultural Officer                                                                - Member Secretary -

Block Technology Manager,ATMA                                                      - Member -

APD, DWMA                                                                                    - Member -

MandalAsst. Statistical Officer                                                          - Member -

Scientist fromANGRAU                                                                      - Member -

2.To identify two major crops in each of the district.

3.Detailed action plans in coordination with Supplier agencies before on-set of the rainy season and rabi seasons by identifying the target mandals/clusters of villages in the target districts for two major crops to be covered in each district. Detailed action plan developed will be presented to the State level co-ordination committee for their approval and implementation before every season in each year.

4.DOAwill organize timely availability of necessary quality inputs (seeds, fertilizers including micronutrients, sowing machinery, pest control measures) for enhancing the agricultural productivity of the target crops.

5.To identify farmers in each of the target villages to ensure coverage of targeted areas in each district as planned.

6.To organize Farmers Days, review and planning meetings at different level and prepare necessary publicity and awareness campaign meetings and materials covering all media.

7.Organize trainers training with the faculty from Universities and department staff for internalizing nuances of various interventions to be undertaken from the Mission project.

8.Department staff along with farmers and scientists will undertake crop cutting experiments to record yield data.

Project Implementation:
  • Coordination Meetings:District coordination committee meeting is planned to be conducted before commencement of Kharif season (Probably by end of March 2013). In this meeting target mandals/cluster of villages in selected districts for two major crops should be finalized i.e., 250ha per mandal in Kharif and 100ha per mandal in Rabi. In Mandal co-ordination committee meeting farmers to be identified in each target village to ensure coverage of targeted areas.

  • Villages Selection:Villages to be selected in such a way that the programmed area comes into a compact area.

  • Testing: During soil testing week to be conducted in April 2013, soil samples to be collected @ 10 Soil samples per village from the farmers identified in Mandal co-ordination committee. The soil samples should be send to the District Soil Testing Labs by 10th April 2013. The District Soil Testing Labs should complete the analysis work by 30th May 2013 and reports should reach to the concerned farmers by 10th June 2013.

  • Supply of Quality seed: The necessary stocks of seeds need to be ensured at cluster level before the onset of monsoon (by end of May) and before sowing of rabi crops (by end of Sept) as generally farmers procure the seed prior to the starting of the rains.

  • Best Management Practices ensure good crop, quality seed to the selected farmers based on the crop As finalized to be supplied by Seed section within time.

  • Supply of Micro nutrients: Soil application of micro nutrients to ensure yield benefits from the micronutrients applied. Application of small quantities of micronutrients can make a big difference in terms of increased crop yields. Requirement of Micronutrients for conducting the trials in 14 districts (Total 734 mandals).

For Kharif: (250ha per mandal) 
  • Convergence of Organic farming: Soil organic carbon levels have been decreasing year by year due to lack of addition of organic matter (Farmyard Manure, Green manures, Vermi compost etc), in the soils. Due to less organic matter in the soils, the microbial activity in soils is decreased, thereby micro atmosphere of the soil is disturbed which in turn decreases the uptake of nutrients from soil. So to promote organic farming and use of organic manures Vermi beds @ 5 per mandal to the are to be established under this project. Also one Vermi compost units are to be established in this programmed area of each mandal.

  • Convergence of seed village scheme: To ensure supply of quality certified seed of notified varieties to farmers in time at their places at affordable prices besides ensuring quick multiplication of new seed varieties in shorter time seed village scheme is organized by Department of Agriculture. One Seed viilage programme has to be organized in each mandal under this programme so as it will be easy for monitoring and quality seed can be made available to these farmers for next season.

  • Farmers Field Schools: Integrated crop management is an approach to farming which aims to balance production with economic and environmental considerations. The Farmer Field School (FFS) is a group- based learning process to promote integrated Pest Management (IPM). The Farmer Field Schools @ one per mandal should be organized in this programmed area in order to transfer production technology to farmers successfully.

  • Promotion of Fodder production: Feed and Fodder is the most integral part of livestock farming and Pr returnsare directly proportional to the feed and fodder management. The requirement of fodder is met mostly from crop residues of various food crops and in a limited way from the cultivated fodder crops. The area under fodder cultivation is less than 3% against the recommendation of National census on Agriculture of 10%. As Fodder production is a part of Agriculture, for an area of 4ha in the project area fodder seed will be supplied.

  • Convergence of Construction of New Farm Ponds: Farm ponds are a good source for storing excess runoff in the catchment areas. This water can be made available for 2-3 life savings and can expect two assured crops in a year. Hence grounding of farm ponds in the programmed area is proposed @ 1 farm pond per mandal.

Time frame for implementation: 
The specific outputs of this Project:

1.Well trained lead farmers in the State will be an asset to serve as para extension workers in the State to bridge the existing gap between the research findings and their implementation.

2.The productivity enhancement trials through soil test - based nutrient management interventions and improved management practices will demonstrate the potential of Agriculture in the districts with increased productivity of the test farmers by 20-25%.

3.Awareness about the soil health amongst the farmers will enhance and demand for balanced nutrient management will be increased.

4.Institutional mechanisms such as inputs supply, farm extension to all categories of farmers in the state will be strengthened.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Project Implementing Officers: 
District Joint Directors of Agriculture:

Formulation of action plans, coordination, guidance and supervision, publicity and collection of data, verification and compilation. Arranging required inputs in time, timely verification and reporting.

Project officers of Head office:

Programme implementation monitoring, efficient utilization of funds, monitoring of inputs supply, maintenance of records, coordination with district offices.

Deputy Directors of Agriculture of Farmer Training Centers:

Work as coordinating officers to Assistant Directors of Agriculture® of concerned divisions and guide them in implementation of the project. Organize trainings at field level to extension staff and farmers.

Assistant Directors of Agriculture ®:

Formulation of their division action plans mandal wise, coordination, guidance and supervision of the programme, verification of selected villages. Input management action plan preparation (dates of training, implementing time table of activities), arranging training programmes at division level, monitoring publicity and maintenance of records, work verification of farmer facilitators, arranging of field visits, distribution of work to staff.

Mandal Agricultural Officers:

Formulation of their mandal action plan, coordination, guidance and supervision of the programme, arranging supply of seeds to villages in time, publicity and maintenance of records, arranging of field days and field visits, arranging training programmes at mandal level, conduct crop cutting experiments and report to Assistant Director of Agriculture®, review progress of farmer facilitators and submit weekly progress reports toAssistant Director ofAgriculture®.

Agricultural Extension Officers:

Selection of area and farmers, placing of indent for inputs to Mandal Agricultural officer in time for project implementation, attention should be given from sowing to harvesting. Conducting crop cutting experiments, arranging of field days and field visits.

Krishi VignanaKendras/DAATTC:

Providing subject oriented training to extension staff and farmers, providing supporting extension literature, information in advance on seasonal conditions, occurrence of pests and diseases etc,, participating in field days.

Implementation Cost of the Project: 
Cost towards supply of Inputs: 

The above micro nutrients will be supplied to farmers on 50% subsidy basis. (Subsidy cost to DOA will be Rs.16.00 Crores apprx.) Similarly for supplying the above micronutrients to 734 mandals in 100ha for Rabi comes to Rs. 6.20 crores apprx.

Cost towards transportation charges: Amount of Rs.5000/- in Kharif and Rs.3000/- is allotted to each mandal towards transportation charges for transporting the inputs i.e., seed and micronutrients from mandal to concerned clusters. Total cost Rs. 60.00 lakhs.

Cost towards trainings: 
            Cost towards organizing State, District, Division level coordination committee meetings will come to Rs. 6.00 Lakhs.
            Cost towards conducting awareness trainings to farmers of the project in cluster level Rs.5000/- per mandal is allotted. Total cost Rs. 37.00 Lakhs.
            Cost towards organizing Field day and for conducting crop cutting experiments randomly in the programmed area with farmers Rs. 5000/- per mandal will be allotted. The cost comes to about 37.00Lakhs. Total cost Rs. 80.00Lakhs.

Cost towards supply of Fodder Seed: Cost towards procurement of Fodder seed for 2396 ha in 14 districts amounts to Rs. 0.50 crores.

Abstract of the Project Cost: 



NEW PROJECT UNDER SOIL TESTING CELL

Introduction: 
                                 Soil is a natural resource gifted to mankind. Our country basically depends upon agriculture, thus it becomes more important to study, analyse and effectively manage soil. Soil being the basic media for the plants to stand and grow plants. In view of this, a greater importance has been attached for management of soil by way of analysis, thereby contributing increased productivity in modern agriculture. 
                                 Growth and yield of any crop is dependent on many factors. Out of many factors, soil fertility is one of the variables that affect the plant growth and its yield. 

                                 Modern agriculture production technologies heavily depend on fertilizer application. Farmers have been using fertilizers increasingly from mid fifties as part of soil fertility management and crop production. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers not only increases the cost of production but also results in deleterious effects on soil fertility. The concept of balanced nutrition of crops also guides the use of plant nutrients in a definite proportion as required by the crops which is possible only if one knows the available nutrient status of his soils. 

                                 Hence, soil testing only helps in understanding the inherent fertility status of the soils. The soil test aimed at soil fertility evaluation with resulting fertilizer recommendation is, therefore, the actual connecting link between the agronomic research and its practical application to the farmers'field.

Project Proposals: 
a) Bhuchetana 
i) ICRISAT :- "Mission Project on Bridging crop yield gaps through Science- Led Development inAndhra Pradesh"

The Department of Agriculture has taken up an innovative approach to adopt science based development of agriculture with technical support from ICRISAT - led consortium by mapping out the nutrient deficiencies in the soils and developing mandal wise balanced nutrient recommendations.

The overall goal of the project is to increase average productivity of target crops in the selected districts by 25% in five years and identify suitable strategies for coping with the likely changes associated with climate change.


The specific objectives are as follows:

1.To identify best crop management options (soils, crop & water management) including improved varieties to enhance productivity of the selected crops by 25%.

2.To undertake representative soil sampling to prepare GIS based soil maps depicting micro and macro nutrient status of the soils.

3. To assess the likely impacts of climate change in the targeted districts and identify suitable adoption strategies to cope with the climate change.

4. To build capacity of the stakeholders (farmers & consortium partners) in sustainable management of natural resources, enhancing crop productivity in dry land areas and adoption strategies for the impacts of climate change in the area of Participatory Research & Development approach. .

The specific outputs of this project will be as follows: 
  • Well trained lead farmers in the State will be an asset to serve as para-extension workers in the State to bridge the existing gap between the research findings and their implementation.

  • The productivity enhancement trials through soil test - based nutrient management interventions and improved management practices will demonstrate the potential of Agriculture in the districts with increased productivity of the test farmers by 25-35%.

  • Awareness about the soil health amongst the farmers will enhance and demand for balanced nutrient management will be increased.


During the last two years 2011-12 & 2012-13, an amount of Rs.200 lakhs and Rs.220 lakhs was released respectively to ICRISAT for implementing the project in 14 districts through organizing demonstrations on best management practices in farmers'field.

During the third year i.e., 2013-14, an amount of Rs.325 lakhs is proposed to cover all the (22) districts in the State @ 500ha in each district.

The component wise budget is as follows.

ii) APSRAC:- "Development of GIS based Soil Health Information & Nutrient Management System" 

The productivity levels can be improved significantly by providing major inputs like water & fertilizers. Excessive fertilizer usage not only wastes the limited resources but also pollutes the environment. Deficit application, however may limit the growth of the crop. Due to the large spatial variation of the agricultural field environment, (Soil, terrain, climate etc.,) location specific soil health information and its management is critical in crop growth management.

Therefore, application of fertilizers based on soil test is advocated to have optimum yields by applying recommended doses of fertilizers.

Recent studies have revealed that application of small quantities of micronutrients can make a big difference in terms of increased crop yields (33-65%) and economic profits.

Even though, voluminous data is available on soil test values of different districts of Andhra Pradesh, the data is not geo-referenced to facilitate storage, retrieval and monitoring the fertility status at a specific location/site and for use by different users. Thus, it is essential to geo-reference the available soil analysis data at cadastral level for organizing it as a permanent data base. This will facilitate monitoring of location/site specific soil fertility of a given soil on sustainable basis by soil sampling at regular intervals. This data base enables the development of fertility management information system useful for planners, analysts & farmers at village, mandal, district & State level for enhancing crop production in the State.

GIS technology has an important role to play in characterization & monitoring of natural resources, identification of problem area and helps in generating location specific recommendations for better crop production. Spatial models can be integrated with GIS to develop spatial decision support system (SDSS) in some cases & these models should also be connected with expert knowledge to solve some of the ill structured problems.

Keeping the above points in view, a project is taken up by Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh in coordination withAPSRAC with following specific objectives.

  • To organize the available soil analysis data into a data base with geo referecing at cadastral level using GIS techniques.

  • To develop and integrate soil and related thematic data with the data base

  • To develop Management Information System (MIS) for Entry/ Storage/ Retrieval of data, Development of Knowledge base, Integration of the data etc., for deriving information for Decision Support System (DSS).

  • To identify gap areas and prioritize soil sampling sites in gap areas and to monitor problem soils and ? nutrient status with GIS back ground.

The study area consists of all the revenue villages covering all districts ofAndhra Pradesh.

This project was started in the year 2011-12 and in the last two years an amount of Rs.325 lakhs was released to APSRAC for soil resource mapping at 1:50000 scale of 7 districts namely Chittoor, Prakasam, West Godavari, East Godavari, Krishna, Nellore and Kadapa.

During 2013-14, it is proposed to cover (5) districts i.e., Karimanagar, Khammam, Warangal, Nalgonda and Nizamabad for Soil resource mapping at 1:50000 scale and Creation of soil data base, with an amount of Rs.150.00 lakhs.

After completion of project, the following outputs will be delivered.

  • Soil Health data base

  • Soil resource maps of the districts prepared under this project.

  • MIS for nutrient management of major crops.

  • Gap areas for soil health study.

  • Prioritized soil sampling sites in gap areas.

  • Sites for monitoring nutrient status and problem soils.

b.Farming Situation wise soil sample collection & Preparation of soil fertility maps. 

Andhra Pradesh is the major food grain production State in South India. In Andhra Pradesh there are 240 farming situations.

Field studies have revealed that production problems differ significantly from situation to situation and what is needed is specific technological package for each situation.

Therefore, it is thought proper to identify the factors responsible for the gap between the potential and existing in each farming situation and try to bridge the same in a systematic manner.

In order to monitor the changes in the soil fertility, the Department of Agriculture planned to collect soil samples @ 15 soil samples in each farming situation and the total soil samples collected will be approximately 3600. The programme is implemented from 2011-12. This year, 2013-14 is the 3rd year and after completion of analysis during 3rd year, the analytical data will be interpreted and farming situation wise fertility maps will be prepared. The cost required is Rs.18.00 lakhs @ Rs.500 per sample for 3600 samples.

c) Purchase of Equipment:

In order to increase the efficiency of the Soil Testing Labs by way of increasing the number of soil samples to be analysed in a day, it is proposed to purchase auto analyzer or Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer (ICPS) to the existing 4 Soil Testing Labs with an amount of Rs.100 lakhs.

Using these equipments the number of soil samples processed can be significantly increased and most of the parameters (Macro, Micro and Secondary nutrients) can be analyzed simultaneously reducing the mistakes due to human error.

The output is that these equipment single handedly can change the concept of days per sample to a mindset that hundreds or even thousands of tests are possible per day.

Also an amount of Rs.100.00 lakhs is required to procure GPS for 1105 mandals in the State @ Rs.10,000/- approximately per unit.




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