OOTY: Governor Banwarilal Purohit explained how faulty orange cultivation at his farmland thought him the lessons on the importance of soil testing.
He said "In western part of Nagpur, orange cultivation is popular. But, in the eastern part of Nagpur, orange crop was not grown. But, I thought of venturing into cultivating orange in eastern part of Nagpur where I was having a farm land. In mid-1980s I procured thousands of orange saplings and cultivated them. For the first five years, the trees gradually grew that gave a satisfactory yielding. Then from the seventh year onward the yields came to a nil. I asked the agriculture experts to examine this. After the examination, the experts said that the soil there was not good to sustain regular orange cultivation in a big way and the soil should have been tested there before taking up orange cultivation. Then only I realized that soil testing is vital before taking up cultivation of any type of crop.
The agriculture department should test the soil and inform the farmers as on what kind of crops can be grown in the particular soil and in the agro-climate zone".
He also advised Ooty farmers to switch on to drip-irrigation to increase the productivity with minimum use of water. Even sugarcane can be grown with drip-irrigation in a better way to increase farm productivity and
economy, the governor emphasised.