New Delhi, December 31: Government on Thursday requested Uttar Pradesh government to speed up Soil Health Card Scheme and has urged the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to monitor the programme at highest level so that it can get deserved priority.
In a letter written to Chief Minister of UP, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said that Soil Health is one of the most important aspects of agriculture and deterioration in the health of soil adversely affects the productivity in the long run.
The Government has been paying lot of emphasis on improving the health of soil by integrated nutrient management and has also announced a programme of collection of soil samples, conduct analysis and issue of Soil Health Card in a time bound manner.
When the scheme was announced earlier this year in February, it was envisaged that the soil samples from 47.70 lakh farmers will be collected over a period of three years and Soil Health Cards will be issued to them after testing of these samples.
To speed up the process of testing of Soil, Central government earlier this year in September had decided that this important task should be completed in two years instead of three years.
According to official statement “A request was made to State Government of UP vide letters dated 14th & 17th September, 2015 for increasing the target of issue of Soil Health Card in 2015-16 from 15.90 lakh to 18 lakh. Similarly, for 2016-17 UP’s target was increased from 15.90 lakh to 29.70 lakh”.
Being concerned due to slow process of Uttar Pradesh Government, Singh had said that a review of the performance of various State Governments shows that UP has not been performing to its potential.
Citing facts about that Akhilesh Government’s slow process of issuing soil health card, The official statement also reads that “Till 9th December, 2015 against a target of 18 lakh samples, only 4.68 lakh samples have been collected and only 22,894 samples have been analyzed”.
Radha Mohan Singh has said that soil health is one of the most important issues in agriculture especially in irrigated areas where extensive use of urea has resulted in deterioration in soil health, leaching and vitalization.
In view of this, Agriculture Minister had also requested that you may kindly monitor this programme at your level so that the targets fixed for UP are achieved and the programme gets priority it deserves.
Focusing attention on the health of soil in agricultural areas across the country, to boost productivity and bring about increased prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Union Government's nationwide 'Soil Health Card' Scheme, describing agriculture as the key to poverty eradication.
PM Modi had said, excess and scarcity of water were both dangerous, and therefore, the key to good agriculture was drops of water - "boond-boond paani." 14 crore Soil Health Cards are envisaged to be issued over the next 3 years.