Trichy: Tamil Nadu’s only notified bio-fertilizer quality control laboratory of the agriculture department will function from a full-fledged new structure at Kajamalai area by March.
Besides quality control check, maintenance of efficient strains of mother cultures, identification and multiplication of crop and site specific strains of bio-fertilizers will be done in the new laboratory. The single-storey building, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 2.77 crore by the public works department (buildings) was shown to the newlyappointed Trichy collector S Sivarasu on Tuesday.
Functioning at the campus of the joint director of the agriculture department since 1995, the centre will be shifted to the new setup with the equipment for laboratory testing. A pioneer in bio-fertilizer production, Tamil Nadu produces 150 lakh packets of carrier-based bio-fertilizers and six lakh litres of liquid bio-fertilizers from 22 production units across the state.
The reason for putting the samples through quality control is to ensure that farmers receive only quality biofertilizers. Fertilizer control order – 1985 mandates quality control checking of bio-fertilizers produced and sold through government and private agencies. Azospirillum, rhizobium, phosphobacteria, potash mobilizer and zinc solubilizing bacteria are some of the varieties of bio-fertilizers.
As far as the centre was concerned, it would receive around 1,100 samples annually against its target of 1,045. Of the total samples, those from government centres account for the majority
Assistant director of agriculture department of Manikandam taluk, A Gomathi said that not all samples pass the mandatory tests to be certified as a standard product. There were incidences of technical experts branding some products as non-standard. Sources said that majority of private agencies claimed that their products are tested on their own. In fact, many farmers have no awareness about bio-fertilizers and end up going for chemical fertilizers. The lack on the part of officials in creating awareness is also said to be one of the reasons.