Main page 




Event Watch

Professionals Net

College Point

Report Center

Crop Update

Water Status

Market Price


Model Farming

New Agri-Tech 

Corporate Farming

Bio Technology

Help Desk

Business Center
Yellow Pages
Buy n Sell
Export Inquiries
All About
Farm Machinery
Live Stock

Behtak the forum

Feed back


Info Desk

Agri Overview

Agri Basic


Site Info
Ad Info
Pakissan Panel


Spot light /Institution

Soil Fertility Research Institute, Lahore

• Description
• Soil and Water Testing
Future Plans
• Contact Details

Soil Fertility Research Institute, Lahore

Punjab Agriculture Department has been carrying out an ambitious plan for maintaing the database of soil related facts in the province. Under the plan approximately 20 percent of total cultivated area of Punjab has been covered.

Land is the principal source for Agricultural production. In Pakistan, there is a limited scope to bring new lands under cultivation due to scarcity of irrigation water, therefore, National Food Security will require high yield per acre foot of water as well as per hectare of land, which will increase the demand of optimum and balanced use of plant nutrients.

Accordingly, the project entitled “ Rapid Soil Fertility Survey & Popularization of the use of Fertilizer in Pakistan” was launched as a joint venture of FAO and Government of Pakistan in 1958 in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Government of West Pakistan. On expansion in 1962, it was transferred to Provincial Government with the status of an independent Directorate in Research Wing of Agriculture Department.

Since inception, the Institute is engaged in investigating the nutrient dynamism in soils through field and laboratory techniques. Increasing agricultural production by improving plant nutrition management together with a better use of other production factors is another activity of the institute. The comparative efficiency of various fertilizer materials has been evaluated for their effective use in the field. Catering of nutrient needs of different kharif and rabi crops under various Agro Eco-zones and cropping systems, evaluation of groundwater quality for irrigation purposes, technology for reclamation of salt affected soils and their post care management have also been developed and disseminated.

Priority issues for planning like nutrient dynamics and indexation in cropping systems, nutrient requirements for new genotypes, soil-test —crop response calibration studies, standardization and calibration of analytical methods, sustaining agricultural productions through Integrated Plant Nutrition System (IPNS), saline agriculture, long-
term macro and micronutrients balance sheet studies in major cropping sequences are being actively undertaken.


A network of Soil and Water Testing Laboratories is in operation in 31 districts of the Punjab. These laboratories are equipped and have the capacities to carryout analysis of soil, water, fertillizer and plant materials for all nutrients.

Soil test values are of little use unless properly calibrated against crop response to applied fertilizer in field experiments. The ultimate objective, of course, is to obtain a value that will help to predict the amount of nutrients needed to supplement the supply in the soil. this remains a continuous activity for transforming test data into recommendations. These laboratories are entrusted with the following activities:


• Establishing critical limits for essential plant nutrient elements

• Nutrient dynamics and their indexation

• Standardization of analytical techniques

• Soil test crop response calibrations for economic use

• Plant nutrient balance sheets for future planning

• Changes in soil test levels corresponding to fertilizer applications

• Pooling and processing of research data to formulate general and site specific  fertilizer recommendations for all ma’or and minor cro s
• Yield constraint research

• Build-up and residual studies on Phosphorus (P) and Zinc (Zn)


• Assessing water quality and nutrient status for advisory services to farmers

• Site specific recommendations and their refinement

• Monitoring of quality inputs and irrigation waters

• Improving Fertilizer Use Efficiency (FUE) and productivity through Integrated Plant Nutrient S stems (IPNS)

• Role of micron utrients in crop production

Since inception 4.5 million soil, water, fertilizer and plant samples have been analysed in theses laboratories. Approximately 20% of total cultivated area of Punjab has been covered under soil testing services. Categorisation of soil parameters, on the basis of pooled data is covered in achievements. Moreover, 0.140 million water samples were analysed for their suitability for irrigation purposes. About 70% of these samples were found unfit for irrigation purposes. Advice for use of these brackish waters is continuously disseminated to farmers for better management of their soil and water resources.

In Punjab, salinity and sodicity have been a great constraint in proper utilization of land resources. The calamity is of continuous nature and each year more fertile fields are rendered unproductive. It was, therefore, necessary to innovate technology to arrest trends disadvantageous to economical production of crops and to reverse this process through reclamation of salt-affected soils by using suitable soil amendments.
Accordingly use of Gypsum has been properly demonstrated and recognised as an economical means for restoration of soil productivity.



Fertilizer plays a key role in crop production and contributes more than 50% in crop yield. New varieties demand respective technologies best suited to different Agroecological zones. The following remained the main focus to accelerate production.

• Established the best time and method of fertilizers application for various crops to harvest potential yields
• Investigated the needs of K for sugarcane, K, Zn, Fe, Cu for potatoes, Zn, for rice, B and Zn for cotton besides N&P
• Worked out the economics of fertilizer use. The Value Cost Ratio (VCR) of recommended doses of different crops were calculated to be as 3:1 in cereals, 4:1 in sugarcane and cotton and 6:1 in potatoes
• Application of P at 1st irrigation was found equally good to get optimum yield
• Demonstrated the impact of balanced fertilization to increase profitability and arrest soil mining
• Reclamation technology for problem soils was innovated and properly displayed
• Developed quick test methodology for assessing P-fixation capacity of soil


• Developed indexed, site specific fertilizer recommendation system for major cash / grain crops
• Delineated soil fertility status of Punjab soils and water quality of running tube wells
• Established critical limits for macro and micro nutrients and standardized test methodologies
• Identified different biological constraints with 50% contribution of fertilizer towards yield gap
• Formulated nutrient recipes of all major and minor crops
• Magnitude of deficiency for NPK is found to be 95%, 90% and 30%, respectively throughout the province
• The analytical data revealed that 57%, 50%, 21% and 1% soils in Punjab are deficient in Sine (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu), respectively
• On the basis of available data, delineated soil profile mapping at district & province levels
• Recently potash dynamics in the soil were worked out in collaboration with International Potash Institute (JPJ) for raising crop yields


• Major stress is being planned on micronutrients and stress environment

• Soil profile mapping using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) by coordinates of Global Positioning System (GPS)

• Environmental impacts of fertilizers, industrial and city wastes

• Refining analytical methods and critical limits for nutrients in various cropping patterns
Future of our agriculture finds hopes in following two approaches:

1. Total Package Approach (TPA)

2. Maximum Economic yield Approach (MEYA)

Both of these can only be harnessed if soils resources are made a base for future planning.

The available data indicates that:

1. Tremandous improvement has been seen in terms of improved production and savings on those farms following soil test based fertilizer recommendations

2. Problems soils have experienced restoration of health through reclamation techniques formulated by this Institute.

Contact Details

For Information on any aspect of soil fertility

Contact Dr. Khalid Hussain Gill Director
(042) 5862073, 5866350 Fax No. (042) 5862073