Gujarats Soil Health Card Scheme Gets Good Farmer Response

Ahmedabad, June 20 | Updated: Jun 21 2004, 05:30am hrs
The Soil Health Card scheme launched by the Gujarat government in November 2003 to increase the agricultural productivity and crop quality is proving to be a major hit with 1.8 lakh farmers of the state already registering for it. This unique card would benefit 37 lakh farmers in the state and help them in taking major decisions about the crop and fertilizers suitable for their land.

Speaking to FE, State Agriculture Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said: Our farmers use the fertilizers without knowing the quality of their land and thus end up damaging the lands fertility and wasting fertilizers. With the help of the Soil Health Card farmers would know if they can grow some new crop.

According to Mr Chudasama this exercise will increase the productivity of Gujarat by 10 per cent. It may be mentioned that 90 per cent of the project cost is being funded by the central government while the remaining 10 per cent is being funded by the state government.

According to RA Sherasya, Agriculture Director, Gujarat: The Soil Health Card provides detailed information about the minerals present in the land, the crop suitable for the land, the fertilizers to be used by farmers and also whether the land is acidic or alkaline. The state government wants to be ahead in terms of quality crop production and the card will help in achieving the goal.

He also pointed out that the Soil Healthd Card acts like a ration card, providing permanent identification and status of the land. For instance, recently 10 samples of land from each of the 18,818 villages were taken and analysed with the help of Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer Corporation (GNFC), Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation (GSFC), Indian Farmers Fertilizers Co-operative (IFFCO) and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) and a comprehensive report was prepared about the status of land held by the individual farmers.

Mr Sheraysa noted: As many as 1.8 lakh farmers have already been covered under this scheme in the first phase and going by the current pace we will be able to provide cards to all the farmers in next five years. This card also contains the information about the schemes under which the farmers have got the benefits. However as the features of land keep on changing the details would be updated at the period of every five years.