The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today reviewed the progress of two key schemes related to the agriculture sector - Soil Health Cards; and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
The Prime Minister was informed that 16 States/UTs have completed the first cycle of Soil Health Cards distribution, and the remaining States are likely to complete the same within weeks.
Reviewing the progress, the Prime Minister said 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, he added.
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, the Prime Minister 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 this exercise.
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 Rs. 7700 crore 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 PMO were present during the review meeting.