Soil Health Card (SHC) is a Government of India’s scheme promoted by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
SHC is a printed report that a farmer will be handed over for each of his holdings. 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.
Soil Health Card Scheme is a very beneficial scheme for farmers. There are many farmers in India. And they do not know which types of crops they should grow to get maximum yield. Basically, they do not know the quality and the type of their soil. They might know by experience what crops grow and what crops fail. But they don’t know what they can do to improve the condition of the soil.
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. A Soil Health Card displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are typically based on farmers’ practical experience and knowledge of local natural resources. The card lists soil health indicators that can be assessed without the aid of technical or laboratory equipment.
An amount of ₹568 crore (US$87 million) was allocated by the government for the scheme. In 2016 Union budget of India, ₹100 crore (US$15 million) has been allocated to states for making soil health cards and set up labs
“Swasth Dharaa. Khet Haraa.” – Healthy Earth. Green Farm.
Key Features of the Soil Health Card Scheme
- The government is planning to cover as many as all farmers under the scheme.
- The scheme will cover all the parts of the country.
- In the form of soil card, the farmers will get a report. and this report will contain all the details about the soil of their particular farm.
- A farm will get the soil card once in every 3 years.
Benefits of the Soil Health Card Scheme
- The scheme will monitor the soil of the farmers well and will give them a formatted report. So, they can decide well which crops they should cultivate and which ones they should skip.
- The authorities will monitor the soil on a regular basis. One in every 3 years, they will provide a report to farmers. So, farmers need not worry if the nature of the soil changes due to certain factors. Also, they will always have updated data about their soil.
- The work of the government does not stop at listing down measures required to improve the quality of the soil. In fact, they will also employ experts to help farmers in carrying out the corrective measures.
- Farmers will get a proper soil health record, thanks to the Soil Health Card Scheme. Also, they can study the soil management practices. Accordingly, they can plan the future of their crops and land.
- Generally, in government schemes, the person carrying out the study for a particular farmer gets changed. But in the Soil Health Card Scheme, the government is paying attention that the same person carries out soil analysis for a farmer. This will further enhance the effectiveness of the scheme.
- The soil card will give the farmers a proper idea of which nutrients their soil is lacking. And hence, which crops they should invest in. they will also tell which fertilizers they need. So, ultimately, the crop yield will see a rise.
- The main aim behind the scheme was to find out the type of particular soil. And then provide ways in which we can improve it. Even if a soil has some limitations, we can do something to get the most out of it. And that is what the government is trying to do with the help of this scheme.