Message from Chairperson
We extend to the visitors of this site a warm welcome and greetings from the faculty and staff of the Department of Soil Science.
Established as the “Department of Agricultural Chemistry” with the existence of the Agricultural Research Station at Sakrand in 1926. Later, the Research Station was upgraded to the “King George V Institute of Agriculture” in 1939. The Institute was upgraded to the “College of Agriculture” at Tandojam in 1954 and shifted to a building, currently known as the Faculty of Crop Production. For better focus and orientation toward changing roles and integrating emerging disciplines, the “Department of Agricultural Chemistry” was renamed to the “Department of Soil Science” on March 1, 1977. In order to have research laboratories of sub-disciplines of Soil Science, the department moved from the “College of Agriculture” to its separate structure in 1983. The Department was ranked under X1 category by National Agricultural Education Accreditation Council (NAEAC) formulated by HEC in 2012. The department improved its ranking order to “W3” category in 2017 and further moved towards its excellence by maintaining “W3” category with higher score in 2022.
The department offers B.Sc., M.Sc., and PhD degrees in Soil Science. The curriculum for each degree is revised and updated every 5 years through a consultative process at the national level under the auspices of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. The department has 13 highly qualified faculty with PhD from different countries (including Canada, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Peoples’ Republic of China, and the United Kingdom) and a professional interface with national and international institutes. With well-equipped laboratories (viz. Soil Fertility, Biosaline Agriculture, and Plant Nutrition) for student research and faculty R&D activities, a befitting teaching environment, two large glass houses for pot experimentation, and easy access to university farms for field experiments, the department is considered one of the best departments of the university. It also houses an air-conditioned reference library for students and faculty.
The Department of Soil Science is home to a variety of students with a passion for agriculture and the environment and a focus on the role and contribution of science-based soil management to meet food security challenges. We leverage our expertise in various fields of soil science to devise climate-resilient soil management technologies and approaches and transform environmental challenges into opportunities and sustainable agricultural practices. Our research endeavors revolve around the effective and efficient use of agriculture inputs (with particular reference to organic, bio-organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrition), and the conservation of natural resources as critical elements of sustainable agriculture and environment-friendly practices. In order to improve soil health and crop productivity the department also focuses on the use of a geographical Information System (GIS) for mapping soil properties of different agro-ecological zones. The department plays a dominant role in HRD and R&D activities to contribute to the solution of soil-related problems, viz. soil salinity and sodicity, low soil fertility and organic matter content, soil and water pollution due to agriculture, industries, solid waste disposal, heavy metal accumulation and toxicities, and the climate change related issues. We value our engagement with farmers in optimizing their yields and generating the next generation of professionals in soil sciences. We maintain effective liaison with other stakeholders, such as fertilizer and sugar industries, conduct joint research activities and organize events of wider interest to the farming community. The department has strong links with several national (Engro Fertilizers Limited, Fauji Fertilizer Limited, Fatima Fertilizer Group, Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Tandojam, Agriculture Research Center, Sindh, Sindh Rural Support Organization, Drainage Reclamation Institute of Pakistan (DRIP), etc.) & international bodies (Developing Partners in Higher Education (DelPHE) in UK, the Australian Linkage Program (ASLP) and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Australia and Action Against Hunger (ACF) in France) actively involved in soil and environmental research.
The department plans to be converted into the Institute of Soil Sciences with a major focus on strengthening various laboratories.
Prof. Dr. Mehrunisa Memon
Department of Soil Science