The government’s effort to issue soil health cards to every farmer in the country by 2013 is progressing well in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat but major eastern states of Bihar and West Bengal have been lagging behind so far.
According to government’s data, 41.3 crore farmers have been provided soil health cards in the country till 2010-11.
Uttar Pradesh, which has issued soil health cards to 8.7 crore farmers till 2010-11, tops the list, the data presented by Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat in
Parliament last week said.
Karnataka is second with 5.7 crore cards, followed by Andhra Pradesh (3.8 crore cards) and Gujarat (3.2 crore), the figures said.
Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab and Orissa have also shown good performance.
But, eastern states of Bihar and West Bengal whose economy is driven by agriculture are among the laggards.
In Bihar only 6.3 lakh farmers have been issued soil health cards till 2010-11, while it is a little over 3 lakh in West Bengal, according to the data.
Jharkhand also does not have encouraging results as only 1.6 lakh farmers have received soil health cards there during the period.
The soil health card evaluates the health or quality of a soil as a function of its characteristics, water, plant and other biological properties. The card is a tool to help the
farmer to monitor and improve soil health based on their own field experience and working knowledge of their soils.