SAMBALPUR: Agriculturally rich Sambalpur district has failed to meet the soil sample analysis target for 2015-16.
The Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by the Centre in February last year. Soil sample collection and analysis under the scheme was started in the district from April, 2015 and subsequently, soil cards were distributed to the farmers. The objective of the scheme is to help farmers know the quality of their farm land and get a good harvest. With the help of the card, farmers will get a well-monitored report of their soil which is chosen for cultivation of crops. It informs the farmers about deficient nutrients in soil and ways to improve its health.
Sources said at least 10,872 soil samples have been analysed against a target of 16,000 during 2015-16 in the district. Out of 16,000, Sambalpur Soil Testing Laboratory (STL) has analysed 7,350 samples against a target of 11,000 while the Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory (MSTL) has tested 3,522 samples against the target of 5,000.
The district has 1,20,851 families engaged in farming. Around 44,475 soil health cards were distributed to farmers by the STL while 24,654 cards were handed over to farmers by the MSTL.
Under the scheme, soil samples are collected from representative areas or grids in the villages. The samples are analysed for physical and chemical properties before soil health cards are issued once in three years for site specific nutrient management.
Soil chemist Babaji Charan Sethy said the samples were collected under a GPS-based soil collection programme. The samples have been analysed for primary nutrients like organic carbon, phosphorous and potash, secondary nutrients such as sulphur and micro nutrients like zinc and boron, he added.
Sethy said the card will help farmers get information on crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for their soil.
In the first phase Maneswar, Rairakhol and Kuchinda blocks were taken on pilot basis but sample collection was not encouraging. Later, it was extended to six other blocks of the district. This delayed the entire process, he added.