The “Soil Health Card” scheme for farmers, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help them improve productivity, has boosted farm produce in a big way, according to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the scheme at Suratgarh, Rajasthan, on 19 February 2015.
“There has been an almost 10 to 25% increase in the production of paddy, 10%to 15% rise in the production of coarse cereals, 10% to 30% in pulses, and 35% to 66% in the production of oil seeds,” the Ministry’s report on farm produce reads.
According to the report, farmers’ consumption of nitrogen fertilisers in 136 districts of 16 states has decreased and the consumption of phosphorus potash and micronutrients has increased so far this year.
Also, there has been 16-25% reduction in the cost of paddy farming and 10-15% reduction in the cost of pulses and oil seeds farming. C. Devakumar, former Assistant Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), told The Sunday Guardian: “The soil health card scheme has proved beneficial for the farmer as after knowing the condition of the soil, farmers can decide on the nature of crops to be sown and the fertilisers required for the type of soil they have in their farmland.” “The soil health card can help review the health of the soil and it can do a complete evaluation of the quality of soil, right from its functional characteristics to the content of water and nutrients and other biological properties.”