Soil Health Card Scheme: Objective, Benefits, Features

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Soil Health Card Scheme is launched by the government of India in 2015 to issue ‘Soil card’ to farmers. The Soil Card carries crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms. The aim was to help farmers improve productivity through judicious use of inputs. Soil Health Card is used to assess the current status of soil health and, when used over time, to determine changes in soil health that are affected by land management. A Soil Health Card displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are typically based on farmers’ practical experience and knowledge of local natural resources. The card lists soil health indicators that can be assessed without the aid of technical or laboratory equipment.

soil health card scheme

SHC is a printed report that a farmer will be handed over for each of his holdings. It contains the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients); S (Secondary- nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Based on this, the SHC also indicates fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.

Objective of Soil Health Card Scheme

The objective of SHC is to provide information about the Soil Health to 120 million farm holdings in the country.

Soil Health Card mobile App

Soil Health Card mobile App has been launched to help the farmers. The app benefits field-level workers as it will automatically capture GIS coordinates while registering sample details at the time of sample collection in the field and indicate the location from where the sample has been collected

Features of Soil Health Card

  1. A farm gets the soil card once in every 3 years so that nutrients deficiency can be regularly detected and improved
  2. It contains the status of soil with respect to 12 parameters
  3. It will be issued to 120 million farm holdings in the country

Implementing Agency

The scheme is promoted by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.

Benefits of the Soil Health Card Scheme

  • The farmer can decide well which crops they should cultivate and which ones they should skip.
  • The farmer will always have updated data about their soil.
  • The government will also employ experts to help farmers in carrying out the corrective measures.
  • The farmer can plan the future of their crops and land.
  • The soil card will give the farmers a proper idea of which nutrients their soil is lacking. And hence, which crops they should invest in. they will also tell which fertilizers they need. So, ultimately, the crop yield will see a rise.

Soil Health Card Day

The Soil Health Card Day is observed annually on 19th February. It commemorates the day Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015 at Suratgarh, Rajasthan. Coincidentally, the International Year of Soils was celebrated the same year.

Progress of Soil Health Card Scheme

  • Under Phase-I (Years 2015 to 2017) 10.74 crore cards were distributed, while under the Phase-II 11.69 crore cards have been give away during the period 2017-19.
  • A study conducted by the National Productivity Council (NPC) says the application of Soil Health Card recommendations has led to a decline of 8-10% in use of chemical fertilizers. It has also raised the productivity by 5-6%.

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