K. Ashok Kumar, Research Scholar at the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering at IIT KGP has received the International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award.

Ashok has been pursuing his PhD on ‘Comparative Assessment of Direct and Residual Effects of Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Management on Rice-Chickpea Production System in Lateritic Soil.’

The objective of this research is to study the soil nutrient dynamics under organic and inorganic nutrient management to improve the crop yield and quality of rice-chickpea cropping system in lateritic soil.

“The research will help application of organic fertilizers such as vermicompost in right amount and at the right time to the rice crop; this increases the yield of the rice-chickpea cropping system by 10% as compared to the use of conventional synthetic fertilizers. Further, the organic fertilizer application will improve the nutritional and cooking quality of rice grain and chemical and biological properties of the acid lateritic soil,” said Ashok.

Prof. Dilip Kumar Swain who is guiding Ashok’s research adds, “This long-term nutrient management experiment will deliver the effect of different nutrient management technology on yield and quality of crops and on the environment in sub-tropical India. The best production technology can be adopted by the farmers for quality food production with continued improvement in soil health for long-term sustenance of increasing agricultural production demand.”

Another objective is to analyse the environmental impacts of this long-term nutrient management experiment in minimising greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable agricultural production.

The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Board of Directors offers two awards of interest to graduate students and scientists working in plant nutrition and management of crop nutrients: The “International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards” and the “IPNI Science Award”. The International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards are open to applicants who are graduate students and attending a degree-granting institution located in any country with an IPNI program. Priority is given to the relevance of the proposed research in support of IPNI’s mission. Students in the disciplines of soil and plant sciences including agronomy, horticulture, ecology, soil fertility, soil chemistry, crop physiology, and other areas related to plant nutrition are encouraged to apply for the award. The award carries a cash prize of US$2,000 and a recognition certificate. Review of applications are conducted on a regional basis, including the following: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia/New Zealand, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Turkey).