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Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh today said as many as 10 crore soil health cards (SHCs) have been issued in the country. He said that all farmers in Haryana would get SHCs for their fields by January next year. After issuing SHCs to all farmers, health of soil would be tested in every two years and recommendations of useful elements for soil health would be registered in this card so that a farmer could improve health of his field, he said. While launching the soil health card mobile app in Jhajjar today to help farmers and the field level workers, Singh said this app will automatically capture GIS coordinates while registering sample details at the time of sample collection in the field and indicate the location from where the sample has been collected. This app works like other Geotagging apps developed for the 'Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana'. The app contains farmers details including name, Aadhaar card number, mobile number, gender, address and crop details, he added. Expressing concern over extensive use of chemical fertilisers and insecticides, he said that lakhs of hectares of land has lost its fertility. Efforts would be made to improve soil health according to the health status registered in the soil health card, he said, according to an official release here. Singh said that farmers in Haryana would become prosperous through Peri Urban Model during next five years. He congratulated the farmers of Haryana for carrying out farming activities under Peri Urban Model according to the needs of Delhi and NCR. The minister said that in the first phase (2015-17) 100 million SHCs have been distributed so far and the aim of the Ministry was to provide SHC to all 120 million farm holdings by December 2017. The second phase began on May 1, 2017, and would continue for the year 2017 to 2019. Singh said that GPS based soil sample collection has been made compulsory to monitor the changes in soil and to prepare a systematic database to compare them with the past years. He said the online registration of samples and test results are uploaded on the National Portal of the Soil Health Card. Based on the test results, the system automatically calculates the recommendations, he added. The agriculture minister said the soil health card portal has been linked to the Integrated Fertilizer Management System (iFMS) and distribution of fertilizers has started in 16 districts on the basis Soil Health Card recommendation as a pilot scheme. Speaking on the occasion, Haryana Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister O P Dhankar said that due to deteriorating condition of soil, health of children is also getting affected. As a result of this, ever year 23,000 cases of cancer and other diseases are being reported, he said. Dhankar said that there was a time when the country was in need of foodgrains. The farmers of Haryana and Punjab lead the Green revolution and made the country independent in terms of foodgrains, he said. He said the farmers of Haryana contribute 13 crore quintal foodgrains annually in the central pool, but for this about 28 lakh chemical fertilizers is used. Principal Secretary, Haryana Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Department, Abhilaksh Likhi, said that at present 34 soil health testing labs were working in the state.
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