INDIAN SOIL PROGRAM AIMS TO BOOST YIELDS, REDUCE FERTILIZER USE
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an agricultural program to provide soil testing for the country's farmers in an effort to increase productivity and reduce wasteful overuse of fertilizers. The program, which will be available to about 140 million of India's 235 million farmers, will provide agricultural workers with cards containing farm-specific data, which will then be used by government fertilizer suppliers to ensure that the correct type and amount of fertilizer is being used on the land. The program is expected to save the average farmer about $800, and the government about $10 billion in fertilizer subsidies per year. Modi oversaw a pilot program in the state of Gujarat, which experienced yield increases of 20% more than the rest of the country over the past three years. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/19/us-india-agriculture-idUKKBN0LN1FM20150219.