Soil health cards should be printed in local dialect: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that soil health cards should be printed in the local dialect of the area and technology should be used to enable soil testing through hand-held devices, an official statement said.

Reviewing progress of Soil Health Cards and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana with senior officials, Modi was informed that 16 states and union territories have completed the first cycle of Soil Health Cards distribution and the remaining states are likely to complete it within weeks.

The Prime Minister said that appropriate checks should be undertaken for variation, both within a sampling grid, and across different soil testing labs as it would help ensure quality in the reports.

“The Prime Minister also emphasized that soil health cards should be printed in the local dialect of the area so that the farmers are able to read and understand them easily,” the release said.

Modi encouraged rapid adoption of latest technology and said that soil testing should eventually be possible through hand-held devices. He urged officials to explore the possibility of involving start-ups and entrepreneurs in this exercise.

On Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the Prime Minister was informed that in the Kharif season of 2016 and Rabi season of 2016-17, claims of over Rs 7,700 crore have already been paid and over 90 lakh farmers have been benefited.

Officials also said that latest technology including smartphones, remote sensing, satellite data and drones are being used for speedy data collection with regard to crop insurance claims.

Senior officials from the Agriculture Ministry, NITI Aayog and PMO were present during the review meeting.