The Soil Microbiology Program started in 1981 as an Inoculant Production Facility under the (then) Department of Animal Husbandry at Serbithang. The program produced Rhizobium inoculants for pasture legumes. With the onset of restructuring within the Ministry of Agriculture, the IPU was transferred to the National Plant Protection Centre (NPPC) at Semtokha where inoculant production continued. In 1999 the program was relocated to NSSC and thereafter has been fully engaged in the NSSC programs.
A research officer trained at the University of Reading, UK heads the program and two senior technicians support him.
The Program has the following capabilities to:
- The program caters to the microbial inoculant requirement of the country through production and supply.
- Improve soil fertility and crop productivity through promotion of organic soil amendments (composts, biological nitrogen fixation, EM technology and vermi-composts). This program has developed simple technologies that could be used by the extension agents in dealing with activities related to promoting organic soil amendments, such as:
- Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF)
- What makes a soil fertile