Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar reviewed the progress of the Soil Health Programme and called for making integrated soil nutrient management a farmers’ movement.

He directed running mission mode awareness campaigns on increasing use of bio and organic fertilisers and reducing chemical fertilisers strictly based on recommendations of Soil Health Card.

“During 2020-21, the major focus of the programme would be on mass awareness programme for farmers in over 1 lakh villages covering all districts of the country,” the government said.

Minister advocated the setting up of village-level Soil Testing Labs by youth having education in agriculture, Women Self Help Groups, FPOs etc. He said the SHC scheme will focus on enabling employment generation after appropriate skill development.

Under the SHC scheme, Soil Health Cards are provided to all farmers at an interval of 2 years. Launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015, at Suratgarh, Rajasthan, these cards provide information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.

“The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare will launch a comprehensive campaign on soil test based rational application of fertilisers and promotion of organic farming including Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP) for safe nutritious food in association with the Departments of Panchayat Raj, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation,” the government said in a press note.