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Soil Health Cards (SHC) scheme

Topics Covered: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Soil Health Cards (SHC) scheme

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features, objectives and significance of the scheme.

Context: In the second phase of the scheme’s implementation, 11.69 crore Soil Health Cards were distributed to farmers in two years.

And the scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.

About the scheme:

Launched in 2015.

Under the scheme, the government plans to issue soil cards to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilisers required for the individual farms.

This will help farmers to improve productivity through judicious use of inputs.

About the Soil Health Card:

  1. A Soil Health Card is used to assess the current status of soil health and, when used over time, to determine changes in soil health that are affected by land management.
  2. It displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are typically based on farmers’ practical experience and knowledge of local natural resources.
  3. The card lists soil health indicators that can be assessed without the aid of technical or laboratory equipment.

What it contains?

It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients); S (Secondary- nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Based on this, the SHC will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.

Sources: pib.