Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed the progress of two agriculture sector related schemes, Soil Health Cards and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in New Delhi.
Mr Modi said, appropriate checks should be undertaken for variation, both within a sampling grid and across different soil testing labs which will 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.
Encouraging the rapid adoption of latest technology, Mr Modi 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 the exercise.
During the review, the Prime Minister 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.
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 7700 crore rupees 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 Ministry of Agriculture, NITI Aayog and Prime Minister’s Office were present during the review meeting.