Marking a milestone in the country’s growing ties with neighbour Nepal, Mr. Saroj Kumar Poddar, Chairman, PPL (Adventz Group), today handed over, in the presence of the visiting Indian Prime Minister, the Hon’ble Mr. Narendra Modi, a state of the art Mobile Soil Testing Lab, from group company Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL), to the Department of Agriculture, Government of Nepal.
Mr. Poddar handed over the keys to Mr. Jaya Mukundan Khanal, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of Nepal, at a glittering function in Kathmandu this evening. Mr. Poddar was accompanied by Mr. D S Ravindra Raju, Whole-Time Director of PPL and Mr. Sunil Gupta, Vice President (Marketing), PPL.
The van is equipped with specialized instrumentation like spectrophotometer, colorimeter, flame photometer, pH meter, centrifuge, electro conductivity meter, electronic balance, reciprocating shaker and hot plate for facilitating an array of tests to determine soil quality and to offer recommendations to Nepalese farmers on balanced fertilizer use for specific soil types and crops.
PPL’s business ties with Nepal are over a decade old. The export of DAP and complex fertilizers started in 2004. Govt. of Nepal expressed keen interest in getting to know more of PPL’s farmer advisory and outreach services. An eight member Nepalese delegation lead by Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of Nepal visited PPL’s facilities in Odisha recently (in March 2014), to study the promotional activities undertaken by PPL. They visited demonstration fields, attended sessions at the Farmer Training School, and gained first hand experience on the functioning and operations of Mobile Soil Testing Vans. Responding to their keen interest for knowledge transfer and collaboration, PPL committed to sharing its domain expertise with Nepal for capacity building of farmers and helping improve agricultural practices in their country.
Paradeep Phosphates Limited (incorporated in 1981), a part of the Adventz Group is amongst the largest producers of fertilizers in Asia. It is engaged in production and marketing of DAP and complex fertilizers. The Company was commissioned as a joint venture between the Government of India and Republic of Nauru but subsequently it became a wholly-owned Government of India Enterprise. On 28th February, 2002 Government of India divested its 80.45% stake in favour of Zuari Maroc Phosphates Limited (ZMPL), a joint venture of Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited (now a part of Adventz group) and OCP Morocco S.A.
Apart from manufacturing and trading of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, PPL is also intensively engaged in promoting modern and scientific agricultural practices amongst the agricultural community.
Given the work undertaken by the company, the Department of Agriculture, Government of Odisha made PPL a partner in PPP mode, in operating Mobile Soil Testing Vans under “National Project on Soil Health Fertility”. Under this project which started in 2011, PPL has been operating 6 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories, giving on site soil health recommendations to farmers of six districts in Odisha. Looking at the successful operations of the 6 vans, Govt. of Odisha has handed over another 5 vans to PPL this year (2014).
With this new initiative in Nepal, it is hoped that knowledge sharing and technology transfer will further help the farming communities in both countries while strengthening relations between the two neighbouring countries.