Farmers to get soil health cards

Farmers to get soil  health cards

This month, the Union government will start issuing soil health cards to farmers that can be renewed every three years, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Friday.

Speaking at the launch of Krishik Bharati Cooperative Limited’s (KRIBHCO) neem-coated urea, he said under the Jan Dhan scheme, soil health cards will be distributed and also permanent soil testing laboratories would be set up.

“Cards will be issued to over 14 crore farmers at a cost of Rs 568 crore and soil testing laboratories will be set up at a cost of Rs 56 crore in three years’ time.

Till now, farmers used fertilisers without knowing anything about the soil condition. But now, they can get their soil tested by showing their card at the centre and choose the fertiliser," he added.

“On a pilot basis, the government will purchase potatoes and onions from the market when their prices drop. When the prices increase, the government will sell them to people at low rates. This way, middlemen will be eliminated,” the minister said.

Union Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, said the Central government was  planning to set up six urea fertiliser production units in the country out of which one would be in the State.

"The plant would be set up on a 500-acre land. While the central government will set up the unit, the State government will provide the land. There are 30 urea plants existing in the country already."

He said, there will be a discount of Rs 29 on purchase of one bag of neem-coated urea.

‘Pay compensation’
Unseasonal rainfall and drought had led to crop loss and financial losses to the farmers, said Horticulture and Agriculture Marketing minister Shamanur Shivashanaka--rappa.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a three-day inter-state horticulture fair ‘Sangam- 2015’ on Friday.

“The Union government is yet to pay Karnataka farmers Rs 800 crore as compensation. While Kerala and Tamil Nadu farmers have got the compensation at Rs 30,000 per acre, it has not been paid here,” he said.

He urged Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, who was present at the event, to look into the matter.
DH News Service

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