June 12, 2018: At Krishi Vignana Kendra (KVK) on the premises of College of Fisheries at Yekkur in the city, will soon come up an applied Research on Problematic Soils (CARPS)
It will function under the auspices of Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU), Bidar.
Shivakumar Magada, professor of Aquatic Biology, College Of Fisheries and who also heads the KVK, which is under the university, told The Hindu that the university, which has given administrative approval for the centre, has sanctioned Rs. 25 lakh for it. It will be inaugurated on July 10.
He said that the centre will conduct collaborative research on improving the condition of problematic soils to make them productive for food production. Farmers could get soil and water analysis done in the centre.
In addition, it would have a mobile soil and water analysis laboratory to reach the doorsteps of farmers.
“CARPS will have an overview of problems and perspectives and the way forward to utilise problematic soils for food production. The core research team would take up need-based research and reach out to the beneficiaries at a faster rate,” he said. It is aimed at bringing all the stakeholders together to do research on various crops, vegetables, fodder, fisheries, aquaponics to increase the production and productivity, Prof Magada said.
Soil acidity and salinity is a major increasing problem in irrigated areas. Though there are many technologies like sub surface drainage, deep trenches either side of the land, crop rotation, green manure crop cultivation during crop break, looking at the economics, farmers tend to leave such lands fallow, he said. A number of factors are responsible for the formation of acidic, saline and alkaline soils.
These factors are mainly geological, climatic, hydrological and human induced in nature.
Although, many efforts have been made for development and utilization of problematic soil using resistant crop, better irrigation methods, but there has been little impact on farmer’s field, Magada said.
The centre would have a director of research, an advisory board, a head, two assistant professors, laboratory assistant, field assistant and other supporting staff.
He said that the National Fisheries Development Board has been approached for funding.
Prof Magada said that an old building constructed in 1946 near the KVK was now being converted as the centre. This centre was lying idle since past 13 years after the agriculture research station which was in the same building was shifted to Brahmavar in Udupi district.