Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed the progress of two key schemes related to the agriculture sector – Soil Health Cards; and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
The Prime Minister was informed that 16 States/UTs have completed the first cycle of Soil Health Cards distribution, and the remaining States are likely to complete the same within weeks.
Reviewing the progress, the Prime Minister said that appropriate checks should be undertaken for variation, both within a sampling grid, and across different soil testing labs. This would help ensure quality in the reports, he added.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that soil health cards should be printed in the local dialect of the area, so that the farmers are able to read and understand them easily.
Encouraging the rapid adoption of latest technology, the Prime Minister said that soil testing should eventually be possible through hand-held devices. He urged officials to explore the possibility of involving start-ups and entrepreneurs in this exercise.
On Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the Prime Minister was informed that in the Kharif season of 2016, and Rabi season of 2016-17, claims of over Rs. 7700 crore have already been paid, and over 90 lakh farmers have been benefited.
Officials also said that latest technology including smartphones, remote sensing, satellite data and drones are being used for speedy data collection with regard to crop insurance claims. Senior officials from Ministry of Agriculture, NITI Aayog and PMO were present during the review meeting.
“Sankalp Se Sidhi” program at KVKs, ICAR
“Sankalp Se Sidhi” program is being organized across the country to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement. On this occasion, the Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry has planned to organize the Sankalp Se Sidhi program at 578 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), 29 ICAR institutes/SAUs and 53 Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMAs) during 19-30 August 2017. Till 20 August 2017, 18 states including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andman & Nicobar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Maharashtra and Gujarat have organized the program at 32 locations.
The programs comprise of Kisan Film having message of the Prime Minister to double farmers’ income by year 2022, followed by pledge for Sankalp Se Sidhi, lecture by agriculture experts and address of the chief guest.
The farmers are also being shown various activities in the KVKs and institutes to acquaint them with the latest technologies. A film on patriotism is also being screened on this occasion to motivate the participants. A large number of farmers, extension workers, social activists and various organizations are participating in these programs. The New India Manthan program will be taken up by the KVKs/ICAR institutes/SAUs/ATMA during this period.