What is Soil health card scheme?
Well, it is a scheme which was started by the Government of India in February 2015, whereby the government plans to issue Soil Card to farmers which will carry crop-wise approval for the required nutrients and fertilizers for the individual farmers to improve the productivity carefully and wisely. The soil is tested in the laboratory across the country where its micro-nutrient deficiency is examined by the experts who give opinion and suggestions regarding the same. These cards are to be issued to about 14 crore farmers as planned by the government.
This scheme was launched by our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to help the farmers plant crops suitable for their farmland when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Even the Union Finance Minister Mr.Arun Jaitley while putting forth his maiden budget said that the decline of soil health has been the cause of concern and has led to sub-optimal utilization of farming resources.
A scheme shall be provided to every farmer with a soil health card in a mission mode by the Government. A sum of Rs.100 crore has been set aside for this purpose by the Finance Minister, Mr.Arun Jaitley. In addition to this, an additional amount of Rs.56 crores has been set aside for100 mobile soil testing labs across the country. There is also a great concern about the imbalance in the utilization of different types of fertilizers resulting in the deterioration of the soil.
The farmers who are benefited by this scheme take major decisions about crops and fertilizers to be used and also get knowledge about the land that is, whether it is acidic or alkaline. The cards provide permanent identification and status of the land to farmers. They are made out after a detailed analysis of samples of soil collected from land held by individual farmers. The scientists study the samples for their water content, presence of elements such as potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, copper, iron and zinc as well as pH and salinity levels, clay content and water retention capacity. This scheme has been beneficial in sowing as well as been helpful in increasing the agricultural productivity and crop quality in the state. The farmers are no more ignorant about the quality of land and its fertility. It has also increased the income of the farmers as they have knowledge about the kind of crops and land.
The Soil Health Cards have been provided to 12, 70,000 farmers of the state till now and soil health cards of 5.55lacs has been envisaged to be provided to the farmers during the current year. The information of nature of soil will be available to the farmers from computer installed in Gram Panchayats under E-gram project.
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