Soil Health Card Scheme
1. Soil Health Card Scheme helped India achieve surplus capacity in food grain production
2. Health Card Scheme has completed its 5 years now.
3. More than 11 crore SHCs have been issued in two phases since the scheme was launched five years ago. Government is making efforts to set up Soil Testing Labs (STLs) on the patterns of Model Village.
4. Soil Health Cards are provided to all farmers at an interval of 2 years.
5. Government will soon launch a Tilahan Mission to make the country self-reliant in oil seed production.
6. So far 429 new static Soil Testing Labs (STLs), 102 new mobile STLs, 8752 mini STLs and 1562 village level STLs have been sanctioned under the scheme since 2014-15. Out of these sanctioned labs, 129 new static Soil Testing Labs (STLs), 86 new mobile STLs, 6498 mini STLs and 179 village level STLs are already established.
7. The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue SHCs to all farmers in the country. SHC provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.
8. The Government is also implementing the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme and promoting customized and fortified fertilizers for balanced use of fertilizers. So far, 21 fertilizers have been brought under the NBS scheme. Presently, 35 customized and 25 fortified fertilizers notified by the Government are in use.
9. A 2017 study by the National Productivity Council (NPC) found that the SHC scheme has promoted sustainable farming and led to a decrease of use of chemical fertilizer application in the range of 8-10%. Besides, overall increase in the yield of crops to the tune of 5-6% was reported due to application of fertilizer and micro nutrients as per recommendations available in the Soil Health Cards.
10. Mantra of SHC is Swastha Dhara to Khet Hara (if the soil is healthy, the fields will be green).
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