Introduction to Soil Health Card scheme:
Soil Health Card scheme is launched on February 19, 2015, by the Government of India (GoI). Soil Health Card (SHC) is a scheme promoted and given by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. It is being implemented to all the State and Union Territories through the Department of Agriculture. It also promotes sustainable agriculture.
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Soil Health Card Scheme:
Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 19.02.2015 at Suratgarh, Rajasthan for the first time.
About Soil Health Card scheme:
Under this Soil Health Card scheme, the government plans to issue soil cards to all the farmers which carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms in all the States to help farmers to improve yield through judicious use of all inputs. All soil samples collected from different farms are tested in various soil testing laboratories across the country.
Thereafter the scientists will analyze the strength and weaknesses such as micro-nutrients deficiency of the soil and suggest recommendations to overcome it. Finally, the result and recommendations will be displayed in the soil health cards.
Objective of Soil Health Card Scheme:
- This scheme also aims at promoting soil test based balanced use of fertilizers and soil amendment to enable farmers to get higher yields at low cost.
- The main objective of this scheme is to create awareness for farmers about the appropriate amount of nutrients for the crop depending on the quality and strength of the soil.
Benefits of Soil Health Card Scheme:
Farmers can take clear decisions on crop selection and cultivation. Farmers can also know about various soil management practices. Soil card also gives about nutrient deficiency of the soil. The farmer will get the health card every three years once. This scheme covers all parts of the state and country. Experts also provide corrective measures for the problem soils.
Soil Health Card:
SHC is a printed report card that will be given to farmers to each of the holdings. It contains the status of the soil concerning 12 nutrients, namely N, P, K called Macro-nutrients, and S (secondary nutrient) Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micronutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Based on these results, the SHC indicates fertilizer recommendations required for the farm.
Use of Soil Health Card(SHC):
Soil Health Card provides two sets of fertilizer and organic manure recommendations for six crops. Farmers can also print the card of their own from the Soil Health Card portal. Soil Health Card portal has farmers database of both the cycles and is available in 21 different languages for the benefit of the farmer community. Punjab is the first state to issue Soil Health Card in India.
Budget outlay for SHC Scheme:
The budget outlay for this scheme is about 568 crore that has been allocated by the Government of India. Around 100 crores have been allocated for all States for setting up of Labs and for making Soil Health Card.
Norms of Sampling: Soil samples are taken from the grid of 2.5 hectares in Irrigated land and 10 hectares in case of rainfed land with the help of revenue maps and GPS tools.
Ideal time for Soil Sampling: Soil samples will be taken 2 times per year, after harvesting of Kharif and Rabi crops or when there is no crop in the field.
Soil sampling: The officers of the State Government collect samples or through an unauthorized agency. Students of various agricultural colleges also involves in the collection of samples.
Procedure for collection of soil sample for Soil Health Card:
Generally, soil samples are collected by the trained personnel from a depth of 15-20cm by cutting the soil in ‘V’ shape. It is collected from the center of the field and four corners of the field. Those collected samples are mixed thoroughly and a part of this sample is used for sampling.
Soil test Laboratory for Soil Health Card: It is a laboratory for testing the soil sample for 12 parameters. This laboratory can be either static or mobile or it can be portably used in remote areas.
Distribution of Soil Health Card: From 2015 to 2017, about 10.74 crore soil health cards have been distributed to farmers. From 20117 to 2019, 11.69 crore soil health cards have been distributed to farmers across India.
Project undertaken under this scheme:
A pilot project named ‘Development of Model Villages’ has been undertaken up during 2019-2020 in which soil samples collection has been done at each farm holding with farmer’s participation. Under this project, a single village from each block is adopted for landholding based soil sampling and organization of demonstrations up to a maximum number of 50 demonstrations for each village. This will lead to the acceptance of the Soil Health Card by each farmer. Till now, about 6954 villages have been identified under this scheme.
Therefore, this all about Soil Health Card scheme. Furthermore, if you have any queries, comment below for more details regarding Soil Health Scheme.