It is a Government of India's scheme promoted by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare. This scheme launched by the Government of India in February 2015. It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
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.What is a Soil Health Card?
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.
The card will contain an advisory based on the soil nutrient status of a farmer's holding. It will show recommendations on dosage of different nutrients needed. Further, it will advise the farmer on the fertilizers and their quantities he should apply, and also the soil amendments that he should undertake, so as to realize optimal yields.
Soil samples will be drawn in a grid of 2.5 ha in irrigated area and 10 ha in rain- fed area with the help of GPS tools and revenue maps.
The State Government will collect samples through the staff of their Department of Agriculture or through the staff of an outsourced agency. The State Government may also involve the students of local Agriculture / Science Colleges.
Soil Samples are taken generally two times in a year, after harvesting of Rabi and Kharif Crop respectively or when there is no standing crop in the field.
Soil Samples will be collected by a trained person from a depth of 15-20 cm by cutting the soil in a "V" shape. It will be collected from four corners and the centre of the field and mixed thoroughly and a part of this picked up as a sample. Areas with shade will be avoided. The sample chosen will be bagged and coded. It will then be transferred to soil test laboratory for analysis.
The soil sample will be tested as per the approved standards for all the agreed 12 parameters in the following way:
At the STLs owned by the Department of Agriculture and by their own staff.
At the STLs owned by the Department of Agriculture but by the staff of the outsourced agency.
At the STLs owned by the outsourced agency and by their staff.
At ICAR Institutions including KVKs and SAUs.
At the laboratories of the Science Colleges/Universities by the students under supervision of a Professor/ Scientist.