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March 13 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


In a significant stride towards revolutionizing the agricultural sector and promoting sustainable farming practices, the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers and Union Minister for Rural Development jointly inaugurated four key initiatives in New Delhi.

These initiatives aim to address concerns related to soil health, fertilizer quality, and agricultural sustainability.


Inaugurated Initiatives for Soil Health Management:

Revamped Soil Health Card Portal and Mobile Application:

  • The Soil Health Card portal has been revamped, accompanied by the introduction of a mobile application for soil sample collection and testing.
  • It includes a registry of soil labs with real-time status and geo-coordinates mapping.
  • Features a centralised dashboard at national, state, and district levels, with Geographic Information System (GIS) analytics.
  • Provides real-time data on soil sample collection, lab testing, Soil Health Card generation, fertilizer management, and nutrient dashboard.
  • Allows for real-time monitoring of progress, automatic capture of geo-coordinates during sample collection, and registration of plot details.

School Soil Health Programme:

  • A collaboration between the Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Department of School Education and Literacy.
  • Established 20 soil laboratories in rural Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalaya schools.
  • Provides study modules and training to students and teachers, with a customised mobile application for the program.
  • School students collect soil samples, test them in school labs, and create Soil Health Cards.
  • Aims to educate farmers on Soil Health Card recommendations, fostering critical thinking and practical learning.
  • A scaled-up version involves 1000 schools, with support from NABARD for setting up soil labs.

Krishi Sakhi Convergence Programme (KSCP):

  • Aims to empower Krishi Sakhis through training programs, transforming rural India.
  • Certifies 70,000 Krishi Sakhis as “Para-Extension Workers” who guide Natural Farming and Soil Health Management.
  • Implementing various schemes like the National Mission of Natural Farming (NMNF) and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
  • Facilitates awareness creation and capacity building among farmers, acting as a link between farmers and agricultural departments.
  • Trains Krishi Sakhis in agroecology, natural resource management, and conduct awareness generation meetings.

CFQCTI Portal:

  • Introduced by the Central Fertilizer Quality Control and Training Institutes (CFQCTI) for sample collection and testing.
  • Ensures quality control in fertilizer management by facilitating sample verification, allocation to labs, and issuance of analysis reports.

Impact Envisaged by These Initiatives:

Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Practices

  • Promote sustainable practices like organic farming, ensuring long-term environmental and economic benefits.

Enhancement of Farmer Livelihoods:

  • Addressing concerns related to soil health and agricultural sustainability seeks to enhance farmer livelihoods and economic well-being.

Credibility of Organic Farming:

  • Efforts to enhance the credibility of organic farming through initiatives like Soil Health Card Portal and KSCP are expected to boost confidence in organic products.

Quality and Efficacy of Fertilizers:

  • Addressing concerns related to fertilizer quality and efficacy aim to safeguard farmers’ interests by ensuring the use of reliable inputs.

Concerns Regarding Soil Health in India:

Importance of Soil and Water Resources:

  • Soil and water are fundamental for sustenance, with over 95% of food originating from them.
  • Their symbiotic connection is crucial for agricultural systems and achieving sustainable development goals.

Challenges Faced:

  • Around 50% of India’s net sown area is rainfed, contributing to 40% of total food production.
  • Challenges include low nutrient levels, land degradation affecting plant nutrients, and declining productivity.
  • Inappropriate fertilizer application and soil erosion contribute to these challenges.

Need for Sustainable Practices:

  • Sustainable food production requires practices like replenishment of nutrients, tailored fertilizer applications, and increasing organic content in soil.

Magnitude of Soil Erosion:

  • India loses an estimated 3 billion tonnes of soil annually due to water and wind erosion, highlighting the urgency of soil conservation efforts.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss India’s recent initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture. Evaluate the potential impact of these initiatives on enhancing farmer livelihoods and achieving long-term environmental sustainability. (150 WORDS)


March 13
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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