Soil Health Card Scheme
Soil Health Card Scheme is a scheme launched by the Government of India under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in February 2015.
It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Suratgarh, Rajasthan.
Integrated soil management initiative: The UPA Government in 2007-08 had launched a scheme to provide soil health card to farmers. However, that scheme did make little progress and in eight years (till 2013), only 50 Lakh soil health cards were released to the farmers. So NDA freshly launched the new scheme.
The Soil Health Card is a printed report that will be given to farmers once in three years for each of his/her land holding.
It will contain crucial information on:
1. Macro nutrients in the soil, secondary nutrients and micro nutrients
2. Type of soil
3. Fertilizer type to be used
4. Crop suitability for the type of soil and climate
The card will be accompanied by an advisory on the corrective measures that a farmer should take to improve soil health and obtain a better yield. The Central Government provides assistance to State Governments for setting up Soil Testing Laboratories for issuing Soil Health Cards to farmers. The state governments will 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 need of this scheme:
1. Because soil has degraded due to mindless use of chemicals and wrong choices of crops
2. Because of low usage of organic matter and non-replacement of depleted micro and macro nutrients in the soil, soil is increasingly becoming infertile.
3. For ex. After Green Revolution, fertilisers were mindlessly applied leading to distorted NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium) ratio of about 20:5:1 in place of advised 4:2:1 The scheme is lagging too much behind the target of distributing 14 crore soil cards by March, 2017, the government has distributed only 6 crore cards .
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