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News Analysis


Soil Health Card Scheme

  • 06 Feb 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

According to the National Productivity Council (NPC), the Soil Health Card scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.

  • Issuance of the Soil Health Cards has enabled the farmers to understand the soil health parameters and improve the productivity by judicious application of soil nutrients.

Key Points

  • Under the Phase-I (2015-17) of the scheme, 10.74 crore cards were distributed, while under the Phase-II (2017-19), 11.69 crore cards have been distributed.
  • A pilot project, ‘Development of Model Villages’ is also being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the financial year 2019-20.
    • It is to be noted that, this project is different from the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) which was launched in October 2014 with the goal of developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of villages.

Development of Model Villages

  • Under this project, a Model Village is selected for aggregation of soil samples and analysis of each agricultural holding.
  • The programme promotes farm holding based soil sample collection and testing with farmers’ participation.
  • The Soil Health Card Scheme along with other projects (National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture) for soil health management has created jobs for the agrarian youth.
    • Under these, village youth and farmers up to 40 years of age are eligible to set up Soil Health Laboratories and undertake testing.
    • 75% of laboratory costs are proposed to be funded by the Central and State Governments.
      • The same provision applies to Self Help Groups, Farmers’ Cooperative Societies, Farmers Groups and Agricultural Producing Organisations.

Soil Health Card Scheme

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare introduced the scheme on December 5, 2015.
  • Soil Health Card (SHC) is a printed report which contains nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Copper (Cu) of farm holdings.
  • SHC is provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years to enable the farmers to apply recommended doses of nutrients based on soil test values to realize improved and sustainable soil health and fertility, low costs and higher profits. Farmers can track their soil samples and also obtain their Soil Health Card report.
  • It is a field-specific detailed report of soil fertility status and other important soil parameters that affect crop productivity.

National Productivity Council

  • It is a national-level organization to promote productivity culture in India.
  • Established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India in 1958, it is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organization.

Source: PIB

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