PIB Daily

PIB Daily – 6th February 2020 – IASToppers

Soil Health Card Scheme; What is soil health card?; Soil Health Management Scheme;
By IASToppers
February 06, 2020

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Soil health card reduces fertiliser use by 10%

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Government Schemes & Policies

Soil health card reduces fertiliser use by 10%

The country wide application of soil health card has led to a decline in the use of chemical fertiliser by 10%. 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.

Development of Model Villages Project:

  • It is a pilot project and is being implemented under which the sampling and testing of cultivable soil is being encouraged in partnership with the farmers.
  • Under the project, a Model Village has been selected for aggregation of soil samples and analysis of each agricultural holding.
  • As part of the scheme 13.53 lakh Soil Health Cards have been distributed during the year 2019-20.

Soil Health Card Scheme:

  • Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by the central government in 2015 to provide every farmer a Soil Health Card in a Mission mode.
  • It provides assistance to State Governments for setting up Soil Testing Laboratories for issuing Soil Health Cards to farmers.
  • The scheme is 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.
  • 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.
  • The scheme provides for the analysis of soil composition by the State Governments once in every two years so that remedial steps can be taken to improve soil nutrients.

The major components of the scheme are:

  • Issue of Soil Health Cards
  • Training for soil analysis
  • Financial assistance for package of nutrient recommendations
  • Capacity building and regular monitoring and evaluation
  • Constitution of the Project Management Team (PMT)

What is soil health card?

  • The soil health card studies and reviews the health of soil or 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.

  • It contains the status of soil with respect to 12 parameters namely:
  • N, P, K (Macro-nutrients);
  • S (Secondary- nutrient);
  • Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients);
  • Physical parameters: pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic carbon (OC).
  • Based on this, the Soil Health Card will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.

Achievement:

  • Under Phase-I (Years 2015 to 2017) of the Scheme 10.74 crore cards were distributed, while under the Phase-II 11.69 crore cards have been give away during the period 2017-19.

Soil Health Management Scheme:

  • Under the scheme village youth and farmers up to 40 years of age are eligible to set up Soil Health Laboratories and undertake testing.
  • A laboratory costs up to Rupees Five Lakhs, 75% of which can be funded by the Central and State Governments.
  • The same provisions apply to Self Help Groups, Farmers’ Cooperative Societies, Farmers Groups and Agricultural Producing Organisations.
  • It is one of the most important interventions under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and aims at promoting Integrated Nutrient Management.

[Ref: PIB, Economics Times]

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