As per official data, only 5.69 crore soil health cards have been issued to farmers till last fiscal.
     
Highlighting the importance of soil testing to achieve higher farm production, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has written to the state governments seeking their views on new norms at the earliest.
     
For irrigated areas, the Centre has proposed testing of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash) nutrients in the soil based on landholding, while micro nutrients in a sample grid of 10 hectares, as per the draft norms.
     
For rainfed areas, both NPK and micro nutrients are proposed to be tested in a sample grip of 10 hectares.      

That apart, the Centre has proposed norms for setting up of soil testing labs for every 50,000 acres of irrigated land and 1.5 lakh acres of rainfed land.
     
The state governments have been suggested to make use of funds under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for setting up of new labs and issue of soil health cards.
     
This has been done as funds under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) would not be sufficient to create the required number of labs.
     
Currently, financial assistance for creation of new soil testing laboratories and strengthening of existing soil testing laboratories is being provided under NMSA.

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