The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February in Rajasthan, seven months after it was announced in the budget. (The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February in Rajasthan, seven months after it was announced in the budget.)
The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February in Rajasthan, seven months after it was announced in the budget.
(The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February in Rajasthan, seven months after it was announced in the budget.)

Soil health card scheme gets paltry assistance

The ambitious scheme was announced in the first budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley in July last year

New Delhi: Under the Narendra Modi government’s flagship soil health card scheme for farmers, aimed at checking unbalanced use of fertilizers and improving farm productivity, only 23.59 crore has been spent this fiscal year, the farm ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“Under soil health card scheme, a sum of 23.59 crore has been released to states towards soil sampling, training and awareness creation," the ministry said in a written reply.

The ambitious scheme was announced in the first budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley in July last year. The budget allotted 100 crore for issuing cards and an additional 56 crore to set up 100 mobile soil testing laboratories across the country.

The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February in Rajasthan, seven months after it was announced in the budget.

The scheme has a target of providing all 145 million farm holders in the country with a soil health card in three years. However, the paltry financial allocation may mean the scheme will fall woefully short of the target.

The ministry is yet to release the number of soil health cards issued in the financial year that ends on 31 March.

Soil health cards details existing nutrient status of the soil and crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required, making it easier for farmers to improve productivity by using appropriate inputs.

Another flagship scheme of the farm ministry, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, an irrigation scheme, was announced in the last budget with a financial allocation of 1,000 crore. It is yet to be launched.

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