MULTAN   -   Excessive and imbalanced use of fertilizers has severely damaged the soil’s fertility by enhancing pH level to 7.5 percent in south Punjab.

Experts expressed this in a meeting chaired by Secre­tary Agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ateel, and attended by a large number of agriculture experts at the com­mittee room of South Punjab Agriculture Secretariat on Tuesday. Soil pH determines the presence of acidity and alkalinity in the soil which disturbed its fertility. Simi­larly, organic matter also declined in the soil across the south Punjab. 

The secretary agriculture stated that the use of compost was inevitable to improve the soil’s fertility. He remarked that scientists would have to present solutions to issues related to soil fertility, adding that soil fertility was vital to reduce expenses on inputs and improve production of different crops. Compost could help maintain humidity in the soil and leads to control on pH level, said experts dur­ing the briefing. 

Saqib Ateel urged the experts to prepare compost by utilizing poultry wastes, sugar-mud, paddy straw, dung and moringa. He also suggested review of use of com­post at different soils to check utility. The results should be shared with others so that it could be promoted to address the issue of soil infertility, he added. He also pro­posed improving the quantity of organic matter in soil. Saqib informed that an integrated nutrient management plan was being evolved to improve the soil condition. The experts discussed the benefits of compost and pro­cess of manufacturing in detail.