February 25: Farmers across the country will now be able to test various properties of the farm soil digitally. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated a website specifically designed for this purpose on February 24. The website allows farmers to check the digital soil map through Global Positioning System (GPS).
Prime Minister Oli, during the inauguration, informed that the website has removed the hassle for Nepali farmers to go to the laboratory for soil testing.
“Nepal has prepared a digital soil map, a first of its kind in South Asia,” he said.
The National Soil Science Research Center under the Nepal Agricultural Research Council, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, with support from Simit Nepal and Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project, has mapped the soil. The soil map is prepared to facilitate farmers to know the soil fertility, acidity, amount of organic matter, soil texture, among other soil components. The digital mapping initiated four years ago has just been completed.
A total of 23,273 soil samples from 56 different districts have been tested and analysed for this. While preparing the digital map, 168 factors, including geographical conditions, vegetation, rainfall, temperature, other environmental factors that play a role in determining the soil properties based on satellite images, have been taken into consideration.
Expressing joy that Nepal has become the first in South Asia in digital mapping of soil, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Padma Kumari Aryal informed that this work would play a crucial role in developing Nepal's agricultural sector. She expressed confidence that agriculture will gain new momentum. She stressed that with the opportunity to know the land through mobile and computer, Nepali farmers should now focus not only on production but also on the marketing and export of products.
One can view the digital map at https://soil.narc.gov.np. The website has a provision to go to the desired state, district and municipality, ward and household to know about the soil contents.
According to Agriculture Secretary Yogendra Kumar Karki, the digital soil map will also help achieve the dream of 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali'.