Agri Minister blames UP govt for low soil health card distribution
In a first of its kind initiative, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Friday interacted with farmers over phone using the tele-conferencing platform. During the conversation, most of the farmers complained about poor pace of implementation of government schemes in rural areas, which was countered by Singh saying the states are responsible for not implementing the Centrally-funded schemes proactively.
Complaining about poor distribution of soil health card, Ajay Kumar, a farmer from Uttar Pradesh, asked that the scheme has not been implemented in rural areas. In answer to Kumar’s questions, Singh accused the UP government of going slow on implementation of the scheme.
“There is a target of 2.63 crore soil health card distribution in Uttar Pradesh during 2015-17. However, only 34.78 lakh cards have been given away by now which is 87 per cent below the target,” Singh stated during a telephonic dialogue to the farmers hailing from Agra, Aligarh, Mathura and Bulandshahr.
The minister also expressed hope that UP government would be working expeditiously to implement agriculture related schemes for the welfare of the farmers.
The centre’s target is to distribute 140 million cards to as many farmers by March 2017, after collecting and testing 25.3 million soil samples. So far, while nearly 79 per cent of the targeted soil samples have been collected, only about 40 per cent have been tested and just 19 per cent of farmers received cards.
Earlier in the day, Singh said that the importance of organic farming has increased manifolds while keeping in view the immediate menace of climate change.