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World Soil Day (WSD) 2020 was celebrated at ICAR-CTCRI on 5 December at 2.30 p.m. in the Golden Jubilee Hall of our Institute on virtual mode.

The programme started with ICAR theme song followed by welcome address by Dr. Susan John. K, Principal Scientist (Soil Science) and Nodal Officer of the Soil Health Card Programme. In her welcome speech, she stressed the need to keep the ‘Soul of Infinite Life’ (SOIL) (soil biodiversity) alive to promote and sustain all the geo biochemical processes in soil to occur efficiently so that the well being of all the inhabitants in the planet earth will be the best. Dr. V. Ravi, Acting Director, made the presidential address narrating the significance of soil and the soil biodiversity comprising of microfauna, and microorganisms, mesofauna, macrofauna and megafauna with invisible microbes ranging from bacteria, fungi to millipedes, centipedes to earthworms, toads, moles etc. in keeping the soil ecosystem alive and healthy and incidentally the entire life on the universe. The WSD pledge was administered by the Director on the occasion. The theme lecture on the tpoic ‘ Agro Residues to Keep the Soil Alive’ befitting to this year’s WSD theme ‘ Keep Soil Alive, Protect Soil Biodiversity’ was given by Dr. Murali Gopal, Principal Scientist (Agricultural Microbiology), ICAR-CPCRI highlighting topics like soil biodiversity in maintaining and sustaining soil health, recycling technologies for palm and cocoa biomass residues, unravelling their microbiology and impact on soil health through meta genomic studies, developing PGPR and mycorrhizal inoculants for coconut and cocoa, whole genome sequencing of the PGPR’s and microbial control of coconut insect pests and on transferring of soil and plant health rejuvenating technologies to farming communities. Dr. V. Ramesh, Principal Scientist and Convenor of the programme expressed vote of thanks and Dr. Sanket J More, Scientist and Coordinator of the programme compared the programme. As we have given good publicity, the meeting was attended by scientists from IISR, Calicut and some extension personnel from Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala. The meeting came to a close at 4.15 pm.

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