Answer & Enrich your learning:
In February 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Soil Health Card Scheme.
- It is a scheme to provide every farmer a Soil Health Card in a Mission mode.
- It is a scheme under which the Central Government provides assistance to State Governments for setting up Soil Testing Laboratories for issuing Soil Health Cards to farmers.
- The scheme will be implemented in all states to promote soil testing services, issue of soil health cards and development of nutrient management practices.
- Under the scheme, State Governments should adopt innovative practices like involvement of agricultural students, NGOs and private sector in soil testing, determining average soil health of villages, etc., to issue Soil Health Cards.
- Under the scheme, the state governments are also required to prepare yearly action plan on the issue and the cost will be shared in the ratio of 75:25 between the Centre and states.
What is soil health card?
The soil health card studies and reviews the health of soil or rather we can say a complete evaluation of the quality of soil right from its functional characteristics, to water and nutrients content and other biological properties. It will also contain corrective measures that a farmer should adopt to obtain a better yield.
How does it help the farmers?
- With the issue of the card, the farmers will get a well-monitored report of the soil which is chosen for cultivation of crops.
- The monitoring will be done on a regular basis.
- The farmers will be guided by experts to come up with solutions to improve the quality of the soil.
- Regular monitoring will help the farmers to get a long-term soil health record and accordingly can study and evaluate the results of different soil management practices.
- This card can become most helpful and effective when filled out regularly by the same person over a period of time.
- The idea is not to compare the varied soil types but to find out methods to improve soil fertility, to access the different types of soil and their ability to support crop production in spite of their limitations and as per their abilities.
- The soil card will help the farmers to get an idea on the crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required in each type of soil. This can help in increasing the crop yield.