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Soil health cards helped in surplus foodgrains production, govt to launch mission for oilseeds


Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday said soil health card scheme has helped in surplus foodgrains production, and announced that the government will soon launch a mission to boost oilseeds output.

Inaugurating a national workshop on Soil Health Card (SHC) Day, Tomar said soil health is vital to boosting agricultural production and asked farmers to follow the recommendations provided in the card.

The minister said the vagaries of weather pose a new challenge before the country.

The spurt in onion prices last year happened due to unseasonal rains, he said, adding that agricultural scientists are constantly engaged in finding solutions.

"Our schemes should not remain confined to files, farmers should gain out of it. I am of the firm belief our farmers will overcome this challenge heeding to the advice of agricultural scientists and soil analysis," he said.

The government is making efforts to set up Soil Testing Labs (STLs) on the patterns of Model Village, he said.

Tomar informed that under the scheme, soil health cardsare being provided to all farmers at an interval of two years. The cards contain status of soil health and also soil test based nutrients recommendations for important crops.

He appealed to farmers to adopt the recommendations of soil health cards for efficient use of fertilisers and improving farm income.

Tomar also said that the government will soon launch a Tilahan (oilseeds) mission to make the country self-reliant in oil seed production.

India meets around 70 per cent of its edible oil demand from imports.

The minister said the country has already achieved self sufficiency in pulses.

Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said SHC is among the biggest government schemes and will help in doubling farmers' income.

The Soil Health Card Day commemorates the day soil health card scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015 at Suratgarh, Rajasthan.

During phaseI (2015-17), 10.74 crore SHCs were distributed to farmers, while 11.74 crore SHCs were distributed during phase-II (2017-19).

The government has spent more than Rs 700 crore on SHC scheme since its launch five years ago.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, February 19 2020. 22:14 IST