The Agriculture Department is gearing up for the Soil Sample Week, which will be held in the district from April 1. It is aimed at creating awareness among farmers to enable them to better their yield with less expenditure.

The Joint Director (Agriculture), Ravi Kumar, at a meeting with department officials from the mandal level and extension services here, asked them to focus on field-level problems faced by farmers. The official said that in view of the growing prices of fertilizers and due to the lack of awareness on scientific farming, farmers were driven to suffer losses.

The Soil Sample Week celebrations will continue till April 10. The subjects to be dealt with during the period include strength of soil, suitable crops that can be grown based on soil testing, and prescription and quantum of fertilizers. The officials of the department will extensively tour the countryside to prompt farmers to have their soil samples tested before the commencement of the kharif season in June. Special focus will be laid on farmers belonging to the SC/ST communities. Mr. Ravi Kumar insisted that the results of the exercise should be provided to farmers on or before May 30. He said that strict action would be taken against the field staff in case of any complaints received against them from farmers for careless handling of samples.