வேளாண் மற்றும் விவசாயிகள் நலத்துறை DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & FARMERS WELFARE Government of Puducherry

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Home >> Quality Control Laboratories and their Standard Operating Procedures

INTRODUCTION

The Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratory was established in the year 1972 at Botanical Garden, Puducherry and presently it is functioning in Agricultural Complex, Thattanchavady, Puducherry. Because of the standards maintained, the Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratory in Puducherry was declared as a Referee Laboratory by the Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi vide Order No.2/2003-Fert.Law dated 28th March 2003, for referee analysis of non-standard fertilizer samples of any other State from across the country. The report sent by the Referee Laboratory shall supercede the analysis report submitted by the first laboratory and shall be treated as final.
The Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratory, Puducherry analyses 700 fertilizer samples per year received from the various Fertilizer Inspectors of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. It is the only laboratory authorized to analyze the fertilizer samples in Union Territory of Puducherry. It also clears the fertilizer samples received from the Karaikal Port when a ship with imported fertilizer arrives.

MANDATED OPERATIONS

  1. Analysis of samples from Fertilizer Inspectors of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam
  2. Receipt of samples from the Appellate Authorities of Various States
  3. Analysis of Referee Samples received from all over India
  4. Analysis of samples received from the Ministry of Agriculture & farmers Welfare, Govt. of India
  5. Analysis of Port samples from Karaikal Port
  6. Analysis of check samples from CFQC&TI, Faridabad
  7. Analysis of service sample from the PKKVK, Puducherry

ENFORCEMENT OF THE FERTILISER (CONTROL) ORDER 1985

Fertilizer Control Order was enacted by the Government of India in March, 1957 to regulate, trade, price, quality and distribution of fertilizers in the country and amended periodically to keep it up-to-date with the changing scenario of agricultural development as well manufacturing of fertilizers. Subsequently, it was replaced with Fertilizer Control Order, 1985 which besides inheriting the basic features of old order has many new provisions. Fertilizer Control Order provides for specification of all fertilizers manufactured/imported and sold in the country, sampling procedure and uniform analytical procedure for analysis of different nutrients/fertilizers.
The specification includes the nutrient content, its forms, moisture and impurities & the particle size. In the interest of farmers, the nutrients content have been prescribed as ‘Minimum’ so that they always get the values either equal or more than the specified content in the fertilizer. Similarly, the moisture and impurities limit have been kept as Maximum so that their quantity to be restricted to minimal level.

TIME LIMIT FOR ANALYSIS

The samples received from the Agricultural Officers notified under the relevant provisions of the Fertilizer Control Order 1985 periodically inspect the fertilizer manufacturing and sale outlets, draw samples as per the procedures laid down and refer it to the Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratory for testing of its standards. The analysis reports are forwarded to the Fertilizer Inspectors concerned within 15 days from the date of receipt of the sample in the laboratory.

INTRODUCTION

The use of pesticides in agriculture play an important role in the enhancement of agricultural production, sustainability in yield; reduction in post-harvest losses, checking of invasion of new pests and protection of health of humans and animals from various disease spreading vectors. Minimizing the field and post harvested losses due to pests are one of the key strategies among them. As many new pesticide products are coming in the market day-by-day in order to meet the requirement of the modern high tech agricultural practices, the concern about the quality of pesticide and food safety, is increasing everyday.
The principles of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), etc., have been given priority in plant protection in our country in order to keep the pesticide residues at the lowest possible level in the food chain. This requires high quality pesticide products to ensure the producers in the field that their crops are sufficiently protected with minimal application of eco-friendly pesticides. The use of under quality pesticides will damage the food chain, ecology, crop yield and disturb the farmer’s income. The Pesticides are to be randomly analyzed with validated methods / referee methods using respective scientific analytical equipments and devices before application for ensuring the quality to avoid spurious pesticides reaching the farmers and also to achieve the objective quality produce reaching the public.
Regular quality control of pesticides are essential to facilitate safe and efficient use of pesticides and for increasing agricultural productivity while at the same time protecting the farmers, consumers and the environment. Therefore, safety & quality of pesticide products remains an issue of great concern.
The efficacy and environmental impact of a pesticide product is affected by several important parameters, including the physical properties of the formulation, the active ingredient content, the procedures and the equipment used for the application in the field. Concerning human health, with special emphasis on operators applying and handling the pesticides, the overall toxicity including any impurities in the technical grade active substances and the composition of the materials used for preparing the formulation are of primary importance. Throughout the world, regulatory authorities require the quality of pesticide products to be monitored, particularly their active ingredient content.

STATE PESTICIDE TESTING LABORATORY

The State Pesticide Testing Laboratory, Puducherry was started in the year 1972 and is functioning with the objective of enforcement of Insecticide Act 1968 and Insecticide Rules 1971 with the annual target of 500 number of pesticide samples (both for pesticide formulation and Pesticide residual analysis). The samples are drawn from all the four region of Puduchery.
As per the provisions of the Insecticide Act, the pesticide samples from the input dealers are collected by the respective Inspectors/Insecticide Inspectors and sent for analysis to the Pesticide Testing Laboratory for various test like determination of active ingredient content, free flowing test, suspensibility test, acidity test, alkalinity test, etc.

AIM OF STATE PESTICIDE TESTING LABORATORY

The aim is to restrict the supply of substandard or spurious pesticides to the farmers by retail dealers

TESTS CARRIED OUT

The test are carried out with validated methods / referee methods using instrumental and volumetric methods to analyze the active ingredient.

I) INSTRUMENTAL METHODS

  1. Gas chromatographic
    Volatile natures of pesticides are analysed using Gas/Gas Liquid chormotographic using inert gas as mobile phase
  2. b) High Performance Liquid Chromatographic
    Majority of pesticides chemicals with higher molecular weight and non volatile compounds are to be analysed using HPLC instrument using liquid as mobile phase
  3. c) UV Vis Spectrophotometer
    Some chemicals are analysed based on the absobtion of visible light by the chemical compounds which results in the production of spectrum

II) VOLUMETRIC METHODS

  1. Acid base titration
  2. Iodimetric titration

The methods of analysis differ with the pesticides and a particular pesticide can be analysed by more than one method also.

MODE OF RECEIPT OF SAMPLE FROM INSPECTORS AND DISPATCH OF RESULTS

The sample for test or analysis under the act shall be sent by registered post or by hand in a sealed packets together with form V (D) (sub rule (1) of Rule 34) by Pesticides Inspectors authorized for a particular jurisdiction, in all the four regions of Puducherry UT.

PROCEDURE ON RECEIPT OF SAMPLE

  1. On receipt of a package from an Insecticide Inspector containing a sample for test or analysis, the Insecticide Analyst shall compare the seals of the packet with the specimen impression received separately and shall note the condition of the seals on the packet.
  2. In making the test or analysis of insecticides, it shall be sufficient if the Insecticides Analyst follows that specifications and the months of examination of samples as approved by the Registration committee.
  3. After the test or analysis has been carried out under sub-rule (2), the Insecticide Analyst shall forthwith supply a report in the result of test of analysis within 30 days from the date of receipt of samples, in the form XVII (24 of Insecticide Rules, 1971) to the Insecticide Inspectors concerned for further action.

INTRODUCTION

Soil Testing Laboratory (STL), Puducherry was established during the year 1968 with the objective of evaluation the soil for their physical and chemical parameters. Soil testing is well recognized as a sound scientific tool to assess inherent power of soil to supply plant nutrients. The benefits of soil testing have been established through scientific research, extensive field demonstrations and on the basis of actual fertilizer use by the farmers on soil testbased fertilizer use recommendations. Soil testing was initiated in the country in the beginning of planning era by setting up of 16 soil testing laboratories during 1955. Government of India has been supporting this program during different plan periods to increase the soil analyzing capacity in the country.The numerical strength does not, however decisively indicate the quality and success of the program. They are made out after a detailed analysis of samples of soil collected from the land held by the individual farmers. The experts study the samples for presence of elements such as nitrogen, potassium phosphorous, iron, zinc and boron as well as pH and salinity levels. The farmers are no more ignorant about the quality of the land and its fertility.

CURRENT SCENARIO

There are two static Soil Testing Laboratories functioning in Puducherry union Territory with analyzing capacity of 2000 soil samples per annum per lab.

Sl.No Name of the STL Place Code No.of STL
1. State Soil Testing Laboratory Puducherry 1333
2. Soil Testing Laboratory Karaikal 2832

The Soil samples are analyzed to know the pH, EC, Major Nutrients like available N,P, K, lime status, secondary Nutrients like S, and Micronutrients such as Zn, Fe, Cu and Boron. After analysis of the soil samples suitable recommendations are given to the farmers to enable them for judicious application of fertilizers in order to get better yields besides maintaining soil fertility.

SOIL HEALTH CARD

The soil health card evaluates the health or quality of a soil as a function of its characteristics, water, plant and other biological properties. The card is a tool to help the farmer to monitor and improve soil health based on their own field experience and working knowledge of their soils. Regular use will allow them to record long term trends in soil health and to assess the effects of different soil management practices. The SHC is more effective when updated consistently at regular intervals.
Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by Govt. of India in February 2015 to issue Soil Health Card to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations for the required nutrients and fertilizer for the individual farmers to improve the productivity carefully and wisely. The scheme was commenced in U.T. of Puducherry in 2016.

OBJECTIVES OF THE SHC

  • To assess the soil fertility status and recommend suitable and economic nutrient does through organic manures & chemical fertilizers for different crops and cropping pattern.
  • To identify the degree/ type of soil degradation / abnormalities like acidity, salinity, sodicity etc., and restoration the fertility and productivity of the land by suggesting suitable effective remedial measures.
  • Correction of inherent soil nutrient deficiency.
  • To issue soil health cards to all the farmers of this U.T. so as to provide a base for judicious use of fertilizers.
  • To develop crop specific nutrient management package for specific soil fertility status.
  • To study soil pollution related problems and reclamation and to make soil testing a meaningful tool for improving crop production and soil care.
  • To generate soil fertility maps.

CREATING AWARENESS

Awareness creation programs are being conducted covering all villages in Puducherry and Karaikal among the farming community on the importance of soil health management and sustaining agricultural production, on a continuous basis.

COLLECTION OF SOIL SAMPLES

The soil samples are collected proportionately as one sample in the grid of 2.5 ha and 10 ha for homogeneous wet land and rainfed land respectively. A maximum of 5 farmers are considered per soil sample. Soil samples are collected during June, July and during the period when the lands were free from crops.

ANALYSIS OF THE SOIL SAMPLES

Soil samples received from the farmers field are analyzed for the following parameters in the soil testing laboratories available at Puducherry and Karaikal as detailed below:-

  • Qualitative parameters – pH, EC, Lime status ect.,
  • Major nutrient – Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
  • Micronutrients – Zinc Copper, Manganese, Iron and B

DIGITALISATION OF REPORTS

After analysis of soil samples, the results are entered in the national portal on Soil Health Card of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, New Delhi.

PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SOIL HEALTH CARD

The national portal on Soil Health Card has been revised and updated to make it user-friendly so as to enable the states to register their soil samples and enter the testing results quickly. The portal is designed to generate and print Soil Health Card automatically.
The national portal on Soil Health Card in which data of soil sample analysis entered is designed to generate Soil Health Card in local language.

DISTRIBUTION OF SOIL HEALTH CARD

After completion of printing of Soil Health Card, the Soil Health Cards for a particular village are distributed to the respective farmers by arranging farmers meeting in that particular village on a specified date and giving necessary lectures on Soil Health Card and how to use it and follow the fertilizer recommendation given in it.

OUTCOME OF SOIL HEALTH CARD

  • Distribution SHC to all the farmers and updating the soil fertility status in every three years interval.
  • Promotion of balanced and judicious use of nutrients by adoption of Integrated Nutrient System, which will likely to reduce the consumption of chemical fertilizers by 20%.
  • Increase in the expected productivity would be around 20%-30%.
  • The demand for organic sources of plant nutrients like bio-fertilizer, organic manure, vermicompost, etc., would not only increase the quality & quantity of the produce and quality of soil.

INTRODUCTION

Seed is a vital input for a triumphant agriculture and Seed Testing is the Science of evaluation of the quality of seeds to determine their value of planting. Use of high quality seeds result higher yields. Until and unless, the seed purity, germination and other seed standards are maintained, production program cannot be successful. To maintain these quality standards, seed testing is most important.

DETAILS OF SEED TESTING LABORATORY

In the Union Territory of Puducherry, State Seed Testing Laboratory was established during the year 1971-72 and it was notified on 11th February 1992 in the whole of Union Territory vide G.O.No.6/Ag/Chief Secretariat/Agri/ Pondicherry, dated 11.02.92 under Sec.4 of the Seeds Act 1966. The Seed Analyst was also notified vide G.O.Ms. No.7/ Chief Secretariat (Agri.), Pondicherry, dated 11.02.92 under Section 12 of the Seeds Act 1966.

OBJECTIVES OF SEED TESTING

The main objective and purpose of Seed Testing is to maintain and make available to the public good quality seeds and planting materials of notified kind and varieties so grown and distributed as to ensure Physical Purity, Moisture Content, the Germination percentage to produce normal seedlings under favourable condition, and genetic purity.
TARGET: Annual target for this laboratory is 1400 samples.

WORK DONE IN THE LABORATORY

Three categories of samples received in the laboratory for analysis are Service Sample (SS), Seed Law Enforcement Sample (SLE) and Certification Sample (CS).

  • SERVICE SAMPLE (SS)
    Sample drawn from the farmer’s stock of seeds by the extension workers or farmer themselves to know the quality of the seed for further immediate use. The results obtained on these samples are generally utilized for sowing or labeling purpose. Non notified laboratories can also test this category of seed sample.
  • SEED LAW ENFORCEMENT SAMPLE (SLE)
    For seed quality regulation at distribution and marketing level, these samples are drawn from sale/stock point by the notified Seed Inspectors in their respective jurisdictions as per the provisions of the section 14(1) a, b of Seeds Act ,1966. These samples are also known as quality control samples and are tested only in notified seed testing laboratories. Seed law enforcement samples are received from Agricultural Officers (notified seed inspectors) of Uzhavar Udhaviyagam of this U.T.of Puducherry.
  • CERTIFICATION SAMPLE (CS)
    The samples are drawn from the Seed Processing Unit & sent to the seed testing laboratory by the Seed Certification Agency. Such seeds are tested in lab to know whether they confirmed to the seed certification standards as prescribed in Indian Minimum Seed Certification Standards (IMSCS). Only notified seed testing laboratories are authorized to test the certification samples.

SEEDS TESTED

Paddy, Groundnut, Sesame, Green manure, Black Gram, Green Gram, Cow Pea, Greens and Gourds.

TYPES OF TESTS BEING CONDUCTED

  • PHYSICAL PURITY
    To determine whether the submitted seed sample confirms to the prescribed quality standards with regard to purity components.
  • GERMINATION
    To obtain information with respect to planting value of seeds and to provide results which could be used to compare the value of different seed lots.
  • MOISTURE
    To determine the moisture content of seeds by methods suitable for routine use.
  • ODV
    To estimate the no. of seeds of other distinguishable varieties present in a seed lot of designated variety.

REPORTING OF TESTS RESULTS

The report of results on seed samples should be dispatched as soon as the results of the test are known. (Based on Germination count days)

INTRODUCTION

Water quality concerns have often been neglected because good quality water supplies have been plentiful and readily available. This situation is now changing in many areas. Intensive use of nearly all good quality supplies means that new irrigation projects and old projects seeking new or supplemental supplies must rely on lower quality and less desirable sources. To avoid problems when using these poor quality water supplies, there must be sound planning to ensure that the quality of water available is put to the best use

WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS

In this Union Territory of Puducherry, Water Testing Laboratory which functions under SSTL was established during the year 1968 and it is a part of the static soil testing laboratory which primarily tests irrigation parameters such as pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), bicarbonate (HCO3), chloride (Cl) and sulfate (SO4) were analyzed to assess the suitability of water for irrigation purposes.
The higher concentration of ions such as Na, Ca, Cl and So4 indicates seawater intrusion, mineral dissolution, intense agricultural practices and improper sewage disposal. The level of EC, TDS and hardness in the water samples indicates that maximum of them are suitable for irrigation purposes. These parameters indicates that majority of water sample are very good to moderately suitable for agriculture. Temporal variation of groundwater quality shows significant increasing trend in EC, TDS and ions like Mg, K and Cl in the last decade, which impacts the quality of groundwater.

OBJECTIVES OF WATER TESTING

Water is the basic need without which life does not exist in the earth. It is well known that major portion of the earth is occupied by water, out of it only few amounts are fresh water and meant for agriculture, The quality of groundwater is at greater risk due to seawater intrusion along the coast Groundwater salinization is also due to overpumping, and less recharge. The fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical products used for agriculture also affect the groundwater quality .The quality of groundwater are is important component of soil fertility and they influence crop productivity. The soils of Puducherry are analyzed for contents of the micronutrients like zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese using Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer.

The samples are received in the laboratory for analysis directly from farmers. Uzhavar Udhaviyagams and collected from farmers field.
Sample drawn from the farmer field by the extension workers or farmer themselves and are sent to the WTL to know the irrigability parameters. The samples are collected after pumping the wells for about 10–15 min and filtered as per standard procedure. pH, Electrical conductivity (EC), Salinity, and Total Dissolved solids are measured . The collected water samples are brought to the laboratory and measured for chemical parameters like anions—chloride (Cl), bicarbonate (HCO3), sulfate (SO4 −) and cations like sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Ions such Na and K were analyzed using flame photometer and bicarbonate using volumetric titration method. Quality of the data analyzed was done by analyzing blanks, standards and duplicates in between the sample analysis. Based on the analyzed report crop-wise recommendations for the individual farmers are given to improve the productivity carefully. No charges are levied for the analysis of the water samples.

INTRODUCTION

The soils of Puducherry occur in different physiographic units. Eight soil series associations, four consociations of soil series and one miscellaneous land types have been mapped in Puducherry region. Micronutrients are essential elements needed for crop growth that are required in relatively small quantities. Even though demands for micronutrients are small in quantity, these nutrients directly affect crop growth and development. Soil and plant analysis are both useful in determining if the cause is truly nutritional. The most reliable micronutrient soil tests are for zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese. In the Union Territory of Puducherry, State Soil Testing Laboratory was established during the year 1968 and it is a nodal centre for implementation of Soil Health Card Scheme. MNTL is a part of the static soil testing laboratory which primarily tests soil for the presence of zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese.

MICRONUTRIENT TESTING –WHY?

Micronutrients are an important components of soil fertility and they influence crop productivity. Despite their trace requirement, their deficiency can severely reduce the yield of grains and biomass. The soils of Puducherry are analyzed for contents of the micronutrients like zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese using Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer.

INFRASTRUCTURE AVAILABLE

Micronutrient Testing Laboratory has been provided with required infra- structure for analysis like (AAS)Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (Varian Model SpectrAA -220) to analyze micronutrientslike zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese.

WORK DONE IN THE LABORATORY

The samples received in the laboratory for analysis are Direct Sample (DS) and Grid Sample (CS). Sample drawn from the farmer field by the extension workers or farmer themselves are sent to the SSTL to know the micro and macro nutrient status of the soil. Based on the analyzed report crop-wise recommendations for the required nutrients and fertilizer for the individual farmers to improve the productivity carefully and wisely will be given. The farmers take major decisions about the crops and fertilizer to be used and also get knowledge about their land i.e., whether it is acidic or alkaline. The results provide permanent identification and status of the land to the farmers. The experts study the samples for presence of elements zinc, Iron, copper, and manganese as well as pH and salinity levels.

MODEL VILLAGE PROGRAMME SCHEME

The GOI has formulated a new scheme “Model Village Programme” in which samples will be collected and analyzed. Based on the test report, demonstration in the farmers field will be conducted in the selected model villages to popularizing the improved technology for efficient and profitable management of resources. Demonstrations are conducted in the villages designated by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Puducherry as an integral part of the Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme.

Sl.No Equipments Uses
1. Flame photometer To analyze sodium and potassium
2. EC and pH meter To analyze the electrical conductivity and the salinity range