ABU DHABI, June 09, 2021: The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) today said that its Agriculture Lab, part of the Central Testing Laboratory, conducted 567 quality checks on fertilizers, soil and water intended for agricultural purposes in the first half of 2021.
“The Agricultural Laboratory provides examination and analyzes services to ensure the quality of all types of fertilizers, water and soil used in the agriculture sector, said Dr. Maryam Al Shamsi, Director of the Life Sciences Department, Al Ain.
Given the importance of the agricultural sector in achieving food security, it was imperative to have these testing capabilities that meet the needs of relevant regulators, farmers, corporate entities as well as research centers, Al Shamsi said, adding that these services also support the national strategy for food security.
“These services help improve agricultural production, support selection of the finest agricultural inputs, and manage farm water resources, paving the way for developing sustainable local production,” she said.
The Agriculture Laboratory offers two types of services – an emergency service within three working days, and a service for non-urgent samples which takes seven days.
Al Shamsi said the laboratory helps farmers improve technical capabilities thereby helping them raise productivity. The laboratory equips farmers with knowledge on the chemical properties of the water used in irrigation, soil quality and soil types for different crops, and helps them chose right fertilizers, whether organic or chemical.
She said it is important to know the growth environment of any plant and the nutritional elements available to it to improve agricultural production, and the laboratory’s testing and analyzes of different types of soil provides this information.
The laboratory has a set of physical, chemical and mechanical soil testing facilities to check soil quality and suitability for growing different types of crops. The tests will also help identify soil problems, such as its fertility, which helps estimate the quantity and type of fertilizers and nutrients to be used.
The laboratory has relevant technical capabilities to check the contents and quality of chemical or organic fertilizers and its compliance with the mandated standards and specifications in the country, Al Shamsi said. Among the significant fertilizer testing services of the laboratory are determining electrical conductivity, pH, moisture content, organic matter, total nitrogen, sodium chloride, carbon, nitrogen, ash and elements and heavy metals.
She said the Central testing Laboratory has also developed technical capabilities to check water quality since there are different types of water available, and it is important to ensure its compliance with the standards of water used for irrigation and agriculture. This also helps prudent water management in agriculture and in knowing what crops can be grown in line with water characteristics.