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Govt. Schemes & Services :: NADP - 2012-13

NADP Projects Implemented by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Year 2012-13



The Government of Tamil Nadu is envisaging doubling the agricultural production and tripling the net income of the farmers in the 12th Five Year plan. For doubling the production, the soil fertility through village level or farm level planning is a prerequisite. Though soil testing is practiced in Tamil Nadu from 1956 onwards, the soil test results are not maintained as a computer database.
The Government of Tamil Nadu is planning to issue soil health cards to all the   82 lakh farm holdings in next three years. For this the existing infrastructure facilities with STLs, KVKs and TNAU is not sufficient. Hence it is proposed to add Inductively Coupled Argon plasma – Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (ICAP- AES) which can analyse all the micronutrients viz., Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Mo and heavy metals like Ni, Cd, Cr, Co, Pb, As and other elements through single injection of a multiple extractant like DTPA.
Hence the project is proposed to hasten the soil testing through ICAP- AES and maintaining the results, survey number wise in RDBMS.

Project Rationale

For doubling the agricultural production of Tamil Nadu, farm level planning through soil testing and following good agricultural practices (GAP) including soil test based balanced fertilization is necessary. Hence this project is proposed on pilot scale for Madurai district of Tamil Nadu with a total geographical area of 3, 74,173 ha comprising 7 taluks, 13 blocks and 227 revenue villages. Hence it is proposed to create the soil nutrient database of Madurai district by drawing total number of 65,000 soil samples @ 500 each for 13 blocks. This is almost 25 % of the total farm holdings of Madurai district. The database will be maintained as a computer database under RDBMS.

Based upon the database, balanced fertilization models will be developed which will be demonstrated in farmers’ holdings as On Farm trials in 13 villages @ two for each block for the major crops of the block.

Project Strategy

In Tamil Nadu there are 82 lakh farm holdings and on an average 2.5 lakh farm holdings per district. The analyzing capacity of all the soil testing laboratories of Department of Agriculture, KVK’s and Mini STl’s will be will be approximately 8 lakhs samples per annum using the conventional soil testing methods. Hence rapid methods like ICAP-AES are proposed for quicker analysis and maintaining them as computer database for easy monitoring of the issue of soil health cards.

Hence, an exclusive Soil Testing Referral Lab is proposed at AC & RI, Madurai which already has a Soil, Plant Analysis and Advisory Centre (SPAAC) where analysis of soil, plant and manures are regularly undertaken. In addition to the available facilities, utilization of ICAP – AES which enables simultaneous analysis of all the micronutrients and heavy metals. This instrument can analyse 320 samples per day i.e., 76,800 samples per year. At this rate, soil analysis of Madurai district can be covered roughly within 3 years. Taking into account the cost of ICAP and the budget required for three years for the completion of samples of Madurai district alone, cost involved in the preparation of a single Soil Health Card amounts to Rs. 60/-. The soil analytical data will be maintained as a database for monitoring the issue of Soil Health card. The data base will be linked with the existing online data base of the Revenue Department of Tamil Nadu.
In the first year of this project about 65,000 soil samples of Madurai district will be collected, analyzed and maintained under RDBMS. The whole Madurai will be covered under three years and the demonstration of balanced fertilization models through OFT’s will enhance its adoption by farmers. This will pave for the doubling the productivity of crops of Tamil Nadu.

Project Goals

    • To create soil nutrient database of Madurai district  in RDBMS using ICAP - AES
    • To develop balanced fertilization model and demonstrate through OFTs in farmers’ holdings

Project Components

(i) Survey and Collection of Soil samples

  • Total 65,000 number of soil samples will be collected @ 5000 samples / block in collaboration with the department of agriculture
  • TNAU students will be engaged for the soil sampling campaign

(ii) Analysis of Soil samples

  • pH, EC, OC, available N, P, K through conventional methods
  • Micronutrients viz., Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Mo and heavy metals like Ni, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Si, As through ICAP- AES
(iii)Creation of soil nutrient database

The analytical results will be maintained under RDBMS which wil facilitate easy monitoring and developing fertilization models

(iv)  Preparation of Soil Health card

A template will be prepared in consultation with State Department of Agriculture for developing soil health card to the farmers. The issue of soil Health card will be monitored by maintaining it as a computer database.

(v)Field Demonstrations

The balanced fertilization models based on soil test will be demonstrated in the selected model villages in farmers’ holdings at two per which will increase the productivity   of major crops of Madurai district.


The progress of the project work will be reported every six months through the Dean, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai and the Director of Research, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.


Agrl. College and Research Institute,
Madurai- 625 104
Phone: 0452-2422956/2422252
Fax: 0452-2422785,04522260155
Email  :

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