Princess Sirindhorn donates 1,000 soil test kits

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has provided 1,000 sets of soil test kits to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help prevent soil salinisation and boost productivity in the region, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

The princess on Thursday provided the kits to FAO assistant director-general Jong-Jin Kim to mark World Soil Day today, it said.

The ministry has been hosting events at the Roi Et Land Development Station in Thung Kula Ronghai area of Suwannaphum district in Roi Et province under this year’s theme of “halting soil salinisation, boost soil productivity”, it said.

“Soil is the foundation of agriculture and an essential element for the provision of other goods and ecosystem services,” Mr Kim said.

“While soils are so essential for life on Earth, they continue to be threatened by multiple forms of degradation, particularly salt accumulation which can be caused by unsustainable human activities such as irrigation with poor quality or insufficient water supply, deforestation [or] the unsustainable use of fertilisers,” he said.

The kits, developed by the Land Development Department, will be used under the Global Soil Doctors Programme, which is being implemented by the FAO-established Global Soil Partnership, the ministry said.

The collaboration focuses on improving soil governance and guaranteeing healthy, productive soil quality essential for food and nutritional security, climate change adaptation and mitigation and sustainable development, it said.