The Soil Microbiology Unit started in 1981 as an Inoculant Production Facility under the (then) Department of Animal Husbandry at Serbithang. The unit 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 unit 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 unit and two senior technicians support him.
The Unit has the following capabilities to:
- The unit 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 unit 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