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Soil Health Card Scheme

Background:

Deteriorating soil health is a cause of concern for our agricultural economy. Imbalanced use of fertilizers (mainly subsidized Nitrogenous fertilizers), low addition of organic matter and non-replacement of depleted micro and secondary nutrients has resulted in a decrease in soil fertility in some parts of the country. Soil Health needs to be assessed at regular intervals so as to ensure that farmers use the required nutrients while taking advantages of the nutrients already present in the soil.

Soil Health Card Scheme:

A nationwide Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by the PM on 19th of February in Suratgarh town of Sriganganagar district, Rajasthan. It had been announced in the first budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in July 2014 that a budget of 100 crore rupees had been sanctioned for issuing these cards alongwith an additional 56 crore rupees to set up 100 mobile soil testing laboratories across India.

With this scheme, the centre plans to distribute 14 crore Soil Health Cards to farmers of our country in a span of 3 years. Around 3 crore farmers will be covered under the project in financial year 2014-15.

The States like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana have already been successfully distributing such cards and the Central Government plans to make it a pan India effort. Over 48 crore soil health cards have been issued to farmers till March, 2012 to make them aware about nutrient deficiencies in their fields. Tamil Nadu has started issuing soil health cards from the year 2006 onwards.

What is a Soil Health Card and what are its uses?

A 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

Features of the Soil Health Card

• It will contain all basic information and crop-wise recommendations of nutrients or fertilizers required for farms with different soil types

• There would be crop-wise recommendation of fertilizers required for farm lands making it possible for farmers to improve productivity by using appropriate inputs

New Slogan:

A new slogan Swasth Dharaa Khet Haraa (Healthy Earth Green Farm) was also given by the Prime Minister on the occasion. 

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