Objectives of Soil Health Card Scheme
Soil Health Card scheme is a Government of India’s initiative launched by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Implemented through the Department of Agriculture of states and union territories, the soil health card scheme will provide every farmer with soil nutrient status of his farmland and suggest him on the amount of fertilizers required and also in case of any soil modifications that might be required, all of this in order for him to maintain the health of his soil.
Soil Health Card Scheme Details
It includes a printed report provided to the farmer for all his holdings. This report will include the health status of a farmer’s soil with regards to 12 criteria, namely macro-nutrients like Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo; secondary nutrients and physical parameters like pH, EC, and OC. Depending on this, the soil health card will also provide recommendations around fertilizers to be used and any changes required to be done to the soil.
A farmer can use the soil health card for the information contained in it, like the overall health of his soil in terms of nutrients. It can also highlight minute details like the dosage need of various nutrients for that specific soil. It contains valuable advice around the kind of fertilizers to be used and the quantity to be used as well. Being made available once every 3 years, this card acts as a quick reference guide for all farmers. The soil health card mission is to keep the farmers educated about their soil in order for them to ensure appropriate preparation for every crop harvest.
The Advantages of the Soil Health Mission
The best part about a soil health mission is that it keeps reviewing the health status of a farmer’s soil every 3 years and contains updated information in the subsequent cards that are issued. The state governments collect samples of the soil as per the sampling norms defined by the scheme. Taken twice a year after harvesting of Rabi and Kharif crops, these samples are collected by trained individuals from 4 corners of a field and also its centre. The samples are mixed thoroughly and then a final sample is drawn from this mixture. Samples are then appropriately packed and coded in order to further transfer them for lab testing.
As per the parameters defined by the soil card scheme, samples are then tested at the labs. The central government provides INR 190 per sample to the state government in order for them to carry out the entire process right from soil sample collection to the final stage of issuing cards. A lot many Indian farmers are not completely educated as far as understanding of soil is concerned. This is when the soil card scheme comes into picture, with the appropriate guidance that it provides to farmers.
With the objective of addressing nutrient deficiency and diagnosing soil fertility constraints, this card comes in handy to farmers. Not only is this scheme fool-proof with the kind of information it provides but also technologically advanced. Considering the advanced version of lab tests that are conducted for soil sample testing and the final information dissemination that takes place via SMS, this scheme is a boon for most of the Indian farmers. The scheme’s objective is to cover approximately 14 crore farmers across the country. Implemented in most parts of the country, this scheme is proving to be very useful for agriculture-dependent farmers.
Top Benefits That Farmers Can Expect
Using this scheme, the farmers can benefit themselves by understanding their soil type and then planting crops based on this information. Leaving aside the fear of losing a crop, the farmers can rely on factual data provided by this card and accordingly decide upon the best-suited crop. The scheme focuses on ensuring that a single point of contact carries out the entire analysis in order to avoid glitches in data collection and dissemination and also the end result. Even the testing labs are mobile vehicles, which can move around and reach the remotest of areas.
Awareness is the key as far as correct farming techniques are concerned. Since most of rural India comprises of farmers, the population is heavily dependent on agriculture as the major source of income. Based on the information provided by soil cards, farmers can understand the nutrients that their soil lacks and make arrangements for the same before a new crop season. Keeping the soil in good condition is extremely crucial for sustainable farming. Once the soil quality is improved, it becomes easier for farmers to get a good harvest.