A one-day interactive meeting was held at ICAR-ATARI Kolkata on 1/11/2015 under the Chairmanship of Deputy Director General (Agril. Extension), ICAR to discuss the issue of providing Soil Health Card and implementation of Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, Attracting and Retaining Rural Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) and Farmers First programme. The meeting was attended by ADG (Fisheries Science), ICAR, Directors of ICAR Institutes located in Zone-II, Nodal Officers of Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav programme, Directors of State Agricultural Universities, Programme Coordinators of a few KVKs and officials of ICAR-ATARI, Kolkata. Dr. A.K. Singh, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Kolkata briefed the dignitaries about the purpose of the meeting and steps taken towards implementing those programmes. The Deputy Director General (AE) taking part in the discussion underlined the need to provide Soil Health Card to 250 farmers by all the KVKs on 5th December, 2015 through organizing a programme of the farmers and inviting local public representative at KVKs. He narrated that the matter of issuing Soil Health Card to the farmers has been given top priority by the PMO and Cabinet Secretary is monitoring the progress. He requested all the State Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes to make the facilities of analyzing soil samples available to the KVKs for micro-nutrients in particular so that the target could be achieved. The DDG(AE) also requested the KVKs to inform the District Agriculture Officer about collection of soil samples from the specific fields to avaoid duplication of soil testing results. He mentioned that in the Soil Health Card, name of farmer, longitude & latitude of the field as well as Khatiyan number of the field from where soil sample has been collected, must be mentioned. He stated that 400 KVKs, 200 Agricultural Unviersities and Colleges and 50 ICAR Institutes have been involved in this endeavour. The DDG(AE) requested the Directors of Extension Education of SAUs to take the lead in the Soil Health Card programme.
With regard to implmentation of Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav programme in Zone-II, the DDG(AE) appreciated the initiative taken by ICAR institutes and Regional Stations located in the zone. He urged upon the Universities to get involved in this programme with its manpower and resources. He informed that the team of scientists should visit villages before commencement of cropping season and inform the farmers about newer varieties, improved package of practices and others. He emphasized on developing affective contact with the farmers by the sicneitsts.
Deliberating upon Farmers First programme, the Deputy Director General (AE) stated that SAUs and ICAR institutes will be made part of this programme. He informed that it will run in IVLP mode with speical provision for farm-women and landless farmers.
Elaborating the concept of ARYA, the DDG(AE) stressed on developing 200 young enterpreneurs in the KVK districts with potential enterprises. The project aims at providing round the year income to the youths through formation of groups to have bulk produce like honey, mushroom, fish fingerlings etc. for its easy marketing.
The Assistant Director General (Fisheries) also spoke on the ocassion.
The meeting ended with vote of thanks.