Chief Minister Raghubar Das will distribute soil health cards to 50,000 farmers in a grand ceremony to be organised in Hotwar on August 21. This is for the first time that soil quality of land, for providing soil health card, will be tested for the plot of each farmer instead of collecting sample grid wise.
The soil health card scheme was started in the year 2015 to check the quality of soil in farming lands. Till date, in order to provide soil health card, the irrigated agricultural land was divided in grids of 2.5 hectares and the non-irrigated land was divided in 10 hectare grids and the soil samples were collected from these grids.
Addressing media persons here on Monday, Agriculture Secretary Puja Singhal said, “This year onwards, instead of grid wise, the soil sample collection will be based on the plot of land owned by every individual farmer.
Also, along with distributing the soil health cards, these farmers will also be informed about ways which can help them improve the quality of soil in their respective lands, based on the result of test.”
Another major change would be that instead of the soil card being distributed by krishi mitras or on PPP mode, the cards will now be distributed by members of self help groups (SHGs)
As many as 6700 members of SHGs, two in each panchayat across the State, have been selected to be trained to become ‘Mitti Ke Doctors’ (soil doctors) by the State Agriculture Department.
These soil doctors will be provided soil testing kits and would be responsible for sample collection, testing and distribution of soil health cards. Every SHG member will be given Rs. 140 as incentive for each sample collected and tested.
Singhal said, “The best thing about mitti ke doctors being in each panchayat is that if the farmers have any query regarding the productivity of their land, they can easily access these soil doctors and take suggestions.”
As a part of pilot project, as many as 300 Mitti Ke Doctors have already been trained. The training period for the remaining soil doctors will of 10 days.
On August 21, a grand programme will be organised at Tana Bhagat Stadium in Hotwar where these 300 trained soil doctors will be given identity card by Chief Minister Raghubar Das while the training for the remaining 6,700 soil doctors will begin.