Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India has 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 the Chief Minister 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 giving emphasis on improving the health of soil by integrated nutrient management.
The Government 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 in February 19, 2015, it was envisaged that the soil samples from 47.7 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. On September 10, 2015, it was decided by the Government that this important task should be completed in two years instead of three years. Accordingly a request was made to UP Government for increasing the target of issue of Soil Health Cards in 2015-16 from 15.9 lakh to 18 lakh. Similarly, for 2016-17 UP’s target was increased from 15.9 lakh to 29.7 lakh.
The minister has said that a review of the performance of various State governments shows that UP has not been performing to its potential. Till December 9, 2015 against a target of 18 lakh samples, only 4.68 lakh samples have been collected and only 22,894 samples have been analysed.
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 vitalisation.