Himachal bags second ‘national award’ in agriculture sector, first prize for Hamirpur for Soil Health Card Scheme implementation
SHIMLA- After winning National level ‘Krishi Karman Award’ for increase in total foodgrains production for the year 2014-15, Himachal Pradesh Government has bagged another National Award in Agriculture sector for 2015-16. Hamirpur District of Himachal Pradesh has been selected for the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the excellence in implementing Soil Health Card Scheme.
Hamirpur bagged first prize in implementation of Soil Health Card Scheme among the Hill and North Eastern States. Only two districts in the country viz Hamirpur in HP and Balrampur in Chattisgarh qualified for an award in Soil Health Card Scheme. The award will be given by the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Civil Service Day i.e. 21st April, 2016 in a National-level Function at Vigyan Bhavan.
The award will be received by Deputy Commissioner Hamirpur and Deputy Director Agriculture, District Hamirpur. A cash amount of Rs. 10 lakh will be given to the Award winning District.
Himachal was recently awarded the National level ‘Krishi Karman Award’ for increase in total foodgrains production for the year 2014-15 in Category II States. The award was presented by the Prime Minister at a National-level Function at PUSA, New Delhi on 19th March 2016 and carried a cash award of Rs. 1 crore.
The Soil Health Card Scheme was launched on 19th February 2015 with the objective to issue soil health cards to all farmers of the country in three years based on standardised sampling procedures and analysis so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices. Expected outcome of the programme was to promote integrated nutrient management through balanced and judicious use of plant nutrients and reduce the consumption of chemical fertilizers.
Considering the importance of soil health, HP Agriculture Department took up the implementation of this programme in a focused manner. The target of 69635 samples which were to be collected under the Scheme in three years have already been lifted by HP in the first year (2015-16) itself. Thus, HP has already achieved hundred percent lifting of samples in the very first year. Analysis of samples is being done simultaneously and 1,60,000 Soil Health cards have been distributed.
The distribution of Soil Health Cards to the farmers was started on 5th December 2015 which is observed as International Soil Day. It is proposed to distribute the Soil Health Cards to all the 76,140 farmers of the District by 30th June, 2016.
Agriculture department had organized farmers camps to generate awareness about the Scheme. The State has a network of 11 laboratories and 7 mobile testing vans to analyse the samples.Government of India has identified four Schemes as priority Programmes viz Swachch Bharat, Gramin Swachch Vidyalaya, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Soil Health Card.