The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today called for focusing attention on the health of soil in agricultural areas across the country, to boost productivity and bring about increased prosperity.
He was speaking after launching the Union Government`s nationwide `Soil Health Card` Scheme from Suratgarh, Rajasthan. He described agriculture as the key to poverty eradication.
Referring to the song "Vande Mataram," he said that in order to achieve land that is truly "Sujalam, Suphalam," it is necessary to nurture the soil. He said the soil health card scheme is a step towards fulfilling this dream.
Calling for soil testing to be made a regular feature, the Prime Minister said a new class of entrepreneurs could set up soil testing labs even in small towns.
The Prime Minister said schemes such as the soil health card scheme, and the recently launched Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme were relevant across the country. Therefore he had recently launched the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme in Haryana, and was now launching this scheme in Rajasthan. He said it was essential to save both "Beti" and "Dharti Ma."
The Prime Minister also spoke of the importance of water. He said that it was essential to use water judiciously and not waste even a drop. He said excess and scarcity of water were both dangerous, and therefore, the key to good agriculture was drops of water - "boond-boond paani." Prime Minister said he had asked each state to come up with agriculture plans under the aegis of the NITI Aayog.
14 crore Soil Health Cards are envisaged to be issued over the next 3 years.
The Prime Minister presented the Krishi Karman Awards to State Government functionaries led by Chief Ministers of States and progressive farmers, to the states of Punjab, Odisha, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat. He presented Commendation Awards to State Government functionaries led by Agriculture Ministers of States to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Karnataka.
Governor of Rajasthan Shri Kalyan Singh, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Smt Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Punjab Shri Prakash Singh Badal, and Union Minister for Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh were present on the occasion.