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What is Soil Health Card?

What is Soil Health Card?
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What is Soil Heath Card? Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015, launched the nationwide Soil Health Card Scheme in Suratgarh town in...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015, launched the nationwide Soil Health Card Scheme in Suratgarh town in Sriganganagar district in Rajasthan. The scheme aims at helping farmers in improving productivity by appropriate use of nutrients or fertilisers. The Prime Minister gave a slogan ‘Swasth Dharaa Khet Haraa (Healthy Earth Green Farm)’ on the occasion. Under the plan, 14 crore Soil Health Cards will be issued to farmer of the country in a span of 3 years. Around 3 crore farmers will be covered under the project in financial year 2014-15.

The Central government is likely to develop an application software for the States for online generation of soil health cards and fertilizer recommendations. Dissemination of soil testing results through SMSs will be enabled. The aims and objectives of the Scheme are: to issue soil health cards every 3 years, to all farmers of the country, so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices; to strengthen functioning of Soil Testing Laboratories; to diagnose soil fertility related constraints with standardized procedures; to develop and promote soil test based nutrient management in the districts for enhancing nutrient use efficiency; and to build capacities of district and state level staff and of progressive farmers for promotion of nutrient management practices.

The number of Soil Health Cards likely to be issued in 3 years time in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are 77,50,789 and 56,48,483 respectively. Experts, according to First Post, feel that there is nothing new in the proposed scheme to provide ‘Soil Health Cards’ to all farmers, since such cards are already being issued in most states. Instead, had the budget announced a national soil amelioration and replenishment programme providing free ameliorants like gypsum, dolomite, lime, etc to farmers based on assessment of soil conditions, and also encouraged for bio-fertilizers, it would have been a welcome move.

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