Icrisat’s Bhoochetana programme, which is aimed at checking the health of soil and suggesting corrective measures, is gaining momentum. After successful implementation in a few districts in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have shown interest to introduce the programme.

“It is also grounded in three locations in the Philippines. About 10 African countries too showed interest in adopting the concept,” a senior official of International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics said here.

Icrisat, the Government of Karnataka, JSW Foundation and Anandana Coca-Cola India Foundation launched three knowledge-sharing and watershed projects at the institute’s headquarters here on Thursday.

Krishi Gyan Sagar (KGS) and Krishi Vani (agriculture extension using telecom services) under Bhoochetana II; Integrated Watershed Management in Bellary district; and Integrated Water Resource Management in Kolar district.

“These programme look beyond enhancing water use efficiency through good agricultural practices. They are initiatives that transform target villages into model villages,” he added.

Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister for Agriculture (Karnataka), said the Bhoochetana programme would be expanded to whole of Karnataka over a period of time.

The project will use Information and Communication Technology- based tools and means to provide latest information on soil nutrient status, package of practices, pests and diseases, taluk-wise nutrient recommendations, and crop related information in Kannada and English.

JSW Group Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal said the foundation spent Rs 12 crore in the pilot scheme.