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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Soil Testing Ordeal

Today to check my soil condition and to see how my soil is doing after 2 years of operations, went to GKVK agriculture university in Bangalore.
To my disbelief i was told that, to get soil test done just the primary nutrient analysis its 500/- and to get entire analysis that is primary, secondary and micro nutrients it will cost 2000/- Rupees. its almost to 45$!! :)
Over and above, to top it, will take 15-20 days for the analysis report to reach you, I said let me pay through cash then they say, you can only pay through demand draft. Come on where will i find a bank to get a draft there, Happened to discover Canara bank in the campus luckily. it was so full, not been to the bank for a long time now, probably 3 years. still seeing the wooden counters with people lined in queue for transaction was nostalgic. but sticking to the topic. Finally i decided due to the cost and the delay for the tests will not get this done, else will get a self do kit.

with the whole experience of today, there are couple of questions to me.

We all know getting soil test is elementary, and by doing you will know what to supplement to get the optimum yield. So an average Indian farmer with an annual income of not more than 25 - 35K (thousand rupees) can he spend almost 1/10th of the income on the soil test?

When we get for 20-25$ do it yourself kits which can test around 20 samples for the primary nutrients in US, why is this test so costly and non affordable to the Indian farmers? is it just exploitation of there ignorance?

Why cant government provide this facility reachable to every farmer at a reasonable subsidized cost?

Leave the government, fertilizer industry in India is a multi million dollar business. Why cant these companies provide this basic facility to farmer and educate him on the next crop application. to me it makes more sense as i would see it as marketing campaign. why not? is the market taken for granted.

without the basic infrastructure to the farmer, Agri science graduates/ scientists, if you are going to farmer and do your thesis oral recitation to him on the effectiveness of fertilizer's etc...blah blah, have you ever thought does it make sense to him ;)

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