Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reviewed the progress of two key schemes related to the agriculture sector which are – Soil Health Cards and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Prime Minister Modi was informed that 16 states and union terrorties have completed the first cycle of Soil Health Cards distribution and the remaining states are likely to complete the same within weeks. On reviewing the progress, Prime Minister Modi asserted that “appropriate checks should be undertaken for variation, both within a sampling grid and across different soil testing labs. This would help ensure quality in the reports.”
Prime Minister Modi also emphasised that the 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. Encouraging the rapid adoption of latest technology, Prime Minister Modi said that soil testing should eventually be possible through the hand-held devices. He urged the officials to explore the possibility of involving start-ups and entrepreneurs in this exercise. Reviewing on the second project, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Prime Minister Modi was informed that in the Kharif season of 2016 and the Rabi season of 2016-17, claims of over Rs. 7,700 crore have already been paid and over 90 lakh farmers have been benefitted from it.
The officials further said that the 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 Ministry of Agriculture, the NITI Aayog and the PMO were present during the review meeting.