Soil health cards have been distributed to 8 crore farmers out of 14 crore so far, and the rest will be issued in the next three months, the Agriculture Ministry said today. A scheme to issue soil health cards was launched in February 2015 in a bid to promote balanced use of soil nutrients and boost the crop productivity. The target is to issue soil health cards to as many as 14 crore farmers. As per the latest data, about 25.3 crore samples were collected across the country and so far 93 per cent samples have been tested.
“About 14 crore Soil Health Cards are being created by the state governments and till May 31, it has been distributed among 8 crore farmers,” an official statement said. In the next three months, the rest of the farmers will covered, the ministry said, and added so far, the country has yielded positive results from Soil Health Card. According to the response of farmers of 136 districts from 16 states, not only consumption of certain fertilisers but the cost of cultivation of some crops have come down. Production of some crops has also gone up.
Making use of the details provided on soil health cards, farmers have reduced nitrogen fertilisers and increased phosphorus potash and micro-nutrients. The production cost of paddy has come down by up to 25 per cent, while that of pulses and oilseeds 10-15 per cent. That apart, production of paddy, coarse cereals and oilseeds has increased substantially.
Soil Health Card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients for improving soil health and its fertility. It also gives farmers information about the nature of the soil. And post recommendations, the farmers use fertilisers and other chemicals accordingly.