BHUBANESWAR:The Centre has asked the State Government to distribute soil health cards to farmers to increase agriculture production.
The Centre has already launched the scheme as per which it has decided to distribute soil health cards to farmers after testing the soil of the farming land. About 5.6 crore soil health cards will be issued to farmers nationwide to avoid unnecessary use of fertiliser and pesticides on the agriculture land.
Official sources said Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting him to launch the scheme in the State.
The Centre had planned to collect at least 83 lakh soil samples from different regions. Keeping in view the interest shown by different States in implementation of the scheme, it has now decided to collect one crore soil samples, Singh said. The United Nations is observing 2015 as year of the soil and World Soil Health Day will be observed on December 5.
Singh urged Naveen to take steps for preparation of accurate soil health cards by collecting samples and testing them in the laboratory. The Centre expects Odisha to focus on distributing the cards to farmers through the software developed by the Union Agriculture Ministry.
The card will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients/fertilisers required for farms, making it possible for farmers to improve productivity by wisely using inputs. A computerised system will be developed, allowing local agriculture science centres to keep details of ‘soil test’ results. Soil samples will be collected even from small farms in remote villages. Some States including Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana had successfully distributed such cards, but most States did not make it operational except in some villages.