The Soil Resource Development Institute – SRDI is a government organization under the administrative control of Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh. The institute has four Divisions, 9 sections including Administration, Cartography, Data Processing & Statistical and Publication and Record Sections, 4 Regional Offices, 4 Regional Laboratories, 20 District Offices and 2 research centers. It has also 5 laboratories (One central lab and Four regional lab) under revenue set up and another 11 laboratories under Development Project. Besides these 6 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories – MSTL (vehicle) is also providing on farm soil testing facilities including balanced fertilizer recommendations to the farmers.
Objectives, Mission and Vission of SRDI:
SRDI aims to achieve self-sufficiency in food and ensure food security for all through appropriate Land and soil (the ultimate resource of Bangladesh) management for sustainable as well as environmentally friendly agriculture. Inventory of soils of Bangladesh and generate information for sustainable crop production through improved soil management and preservation of environment. Soil conservation by managing hilly and saline soils.
Trainings organize by the SRDI:
- Planning and execution of in-service training programme for the technical officers and staff.
- Organizing refresher courses in terms of short training programmes of the technical officers and staff wherever required.
- Organizing training programmes on use of soil information obtained through soil surveys for the technical officers and staff of the beneficiary agencies like Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), BRRI, BARC, etc.
- Organizing training programmes on use of soil information for the technical officers and staff of the beneficiary agencies like Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), BRRI, BARC, etc.
- Imparting training proramme on identification of adulterated fertilizer for farmers, dealers & other stakeholders
- Preparation of training modules and materials in terms of course syllabus, audio-visual materials etc.
Analytical Services from SRDI:
SRDI provide analytical services to different stakeholders by its Soil Testing Division.
- Static Laboratories: There are 16 laboratories in different district of Bangladesh and is providing following services to farmers, entrepreneurs, GO & NGOs etc. Soil, plant, and water samples analyses to evaluate diagnostic problems, nutrient balance, lime and fertilizers requirement of crops. Based on soil analytical results and nutrient status of soils location specific fertilizer recommendation cards are distributed to different stakeholders. Fertilizer sample analysis is also done to ensure the quality of fertilizer and identify adulterated fertilizer to aid policy makers.
- MSTL based analytical services: Besides these static laboratories SRDI has 6 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories (MSTL) that provide about 3200 farmers soil sample per year. MSTL teams usually visit different upazila/ parts of country in pre-fixed schedule. Prior that extensive campaign and training programme is organize for framers awaking then on the importance of soil test base fertilizer use and method of soil sample collection
Fertilizer recommendations from SRDI:
Since 1985 Soil Resource Development Institute is regularly generating nutrient status data covering the whole through its Upazilla Nirdeshika program. This huge analogue data has converted into digital format. To provide location specific quick, smart and efficient fertilizer recommendation service to the farmer the Institute, in cooperation with KATALYST, has developed software named Online Fertilizer Recommendation System. SRDI is now providing fertilizer recommendation service to farmers using digital technology such as,
- Digital database in SQL Server
- Web based software
- Remote access through web-portal (www.frs-bd.com)
- Service delivery through
- Banglalink cell phone (Call center service – 7676)
- Grameenphone Community Information Center (CIS)
As the front end/user end of the software is web based user can access through internet. Banglalink and Grameenphone giving location specific fertilizer recommendation to the farmer using this software and database facility. A farmer can get fertilizer recommendation for his land for the crop he wishes to cultivate by calling 7676 of Banglalink and also from the CIC of Grameenphone at Upazila level. The institute experimentally launched this program for thirty Upazillas only.
Beside seeds, soil fertility and balanced fertilizer plays a great role in crop production. Research revealed that only through soil test and crop requirement based balanced fertilizer application can increase yield of rice to 20 to 25 percent in rice and other crops by 15-20 percent. At the same time it restores productivity of soils and soil health. But fertilizer recommendation must base on sound database. Soil Resource Development Institute has already generated huge and reliable database on land and soil resources of the country through Reconnaissance, Semi-detailed and Detailed Soil Survey.
Soil Resources Development Institute collected and analyzed around 100,000 soil samples through semi-detailed soil survey for the preparation of “Upazila Nirdeshika”, Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories, and Soil Fertility Monitoring Program covering all the physiography, agro-ecological zones, land type, soil series and Upazilla of the country. Based on this database software is made for on-line fertilizer recommendations.
To increase crop production through balanced fertilizer use and to ensure fertilizer recommendation services to farmers at minimum cost and time and finally to step forward to establish Digital Bangladesh, SRDI launch Digital Fertilizer Recommendation Services to 30 Upazila on 27 July 2009. This service will extend to all the Upazils by 2010. Farmers of any corner of the country may get fertilizer recommendation based of soil fertility of their field and crop requirement through Mobile Phone (7676 of Banglalink) and Customer Care Centers (CIC’s of Grameen Phone). Farmers needs to provide the name of his union, upazila, district, land type and desired crop.
There are provision for data update through semi-detailed soil survey and other programs of SRDI. There is also provision for monitoring of impact of digital fertilizer recommendation service through Customer Relation Management (CRM). For further details please visit the Web Portal of SRDI.
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