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Soil health card scheme completes 5 years on 19 February 2020

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On February 17, 2020, According to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Soil Health Card Scheme which was launched by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on 19.02.2015 at Suratgarh, Rajasthan completes 5 years on February 19, 2020.Till now, a total of Rs.751.42 crore has been released under the scheme.Key Points:

i.During the Phase-I of the scheme (2015 – 2017),a total of 10.74 crore cards were issued to farmers and in the 2nd  phase (2017 – 2019),11.69 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers in the last two years.

ii.Establishment of Soil Testing Labs:In order to set up soil health laboratories under the scheme,so far the central Government has approved 429 New Static Soil Testing Labs (STLs), 102 new mobile labs, 8,752 mini labs, and 1,562 Village level soil testing labs (VLSTLs), besides strengthening 800 existing labs.Hence, the soil analyzing capacity has increased to 3.33 crore from 1.78 crore soil samples per annum in short period of 5 years.

iii.A flagship project ‘Development of Model Villages’ has been launched in the In the current FY20, where sampling & testing of cultivable soil is being promoted in association with farmers. A Model Village has been picked for aggregation of soil samples & analysis of all agricultural holding.

iv.Identification of villages:Till now a total of 6954 villages have been identified by the States / UTs (Union Territories) & 20.18 lakh samples have been collected compared to the target of 26.83 lakh samples. Also,14.65 lakh samples have been analyzed and 13.54 lakh cards have been issued to farmers.

v.Departments of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare & Fertilisers backed by technology and network of KrishiVigyanKendras of Indian Council of Agriculture Research(ICAR) have been carrying the awareness campaign among farmers.

About Soil Health Card scheme:

It was launched by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi Government during the financial year-FY 2014-15 to deal with the decline of soil nutrients. The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is issuing the Soil Health Cards to farmers at an interval of  2 years.

Soil health card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil with respect to 12 nutrients (pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu)) along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.