As many as 350 women of self help groups were handed over identity cards of "Mitti Ke Doctor" (soil doctors) by Chief Minister Raghubar Das in a grand programme organized at Tana Bhagat Stadium at Hotwar on Wednesday. On the occasion, soil health cards were distributed to 5,000 farmers on the spot and 50,000 farmers across the State as well.
"The Government is dedicated to make the soil of the State healthy. This is the reason that ‘Mitti Ke Doctor Didis’ are being given identity cards and soil test kits today so that they can test the quality of soil in every village and inform the farmers about the ingredients required to make their land more fertile," Das said on the occasion.
He said that this step will have two benefits, first being that the productivity of land will increase leading to an increase in their income and the second benefit would be that this will make the women soil doctors financially independent as they can earn up to Rs 14,000 a month through this work.
Inspiring the soil doctors to work like Rani Mistri the CM said, "Just like women of Jharkhand, in form of Rani Mistris made the State famous nationally and contributed in making it open defecation free, in the same way our doctor didis will also help in making our farmers stronger economically by making their land more productive."
The CM said that before 2014 the agriculture growth rate of the State was -4 per cent but in the last four and a half years it has increased to 14 per cent.
At present the agriculture growth rate of Bihar is 6.62 per cent, Odisha is 10.7 per cent, Bengal is 5.5 per cent and Andhra Pradesh is 11.39 per cent. However, the agriculture growth rate of Jharkhand is highest among all these with 14.5 per cent.
“Mitti Ke Doctors will play a major role in increasing this rate further. In the coming days 100 more farmers will be sent to Israel again.
Of these 50 would be men and 25 women farmers while other 25 would be members of Sakhi Mandals," he said.
Principal Secretary to CM, Sunil Kumar Barnwal said on the the occasion that the programme is dedicated to all those female entrepreneurs who have tried to established themselves as Mitti Ke Doctor. "Now the farmers will be informed about the problems and lacunas in the soil of their land at their panchayat level and will also be given solution to the problems.
Till date 17 lakh soil health cards have been made. Today the Doctor Didis are also being given soil test kits," he said.
There is a plan to train 8734 Mitti Ke Doctors and make 3164 soil test labs in 4367 gram panchayats of the State.Agriculture Secretary Puja Singhal said that the training programme for the Mitti Ke Doctors will be held for eight days in 434 batches. In the first phase 3,000 women will be trained.
"This programme will help double the income of farmers by 2022," she said.