Coverage | VOL.12, ISSUE 73, July-August 2012

Soil Health Card

Nutrient management based on soil test has emerged as a key effort to increase agricultural productivity. Deficiencies of primary, secondary and micro-nutrients have been observed in intensively cultivated areas. The soils are studied and classified according to their use where inherent soil characteristics, external land features and environmental factors are given prominence. A ‘land capability classification’ is carried out to record the limiting factors for crops such as soil depth, topography, texture and structure, water holding capacity and drainage features followed by evaluation of soil fertility. According to the 2011 survey, based on the soil analysis, State Governments have issued 408 lakh soil health cards to the farmers (Compendium of Soil Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, 2012). The Ministry of Agriculture is making efforts to provide soil health cards to all the farmers by 2013. All the States issue soil health cards to the farmers along with recommendations for proper use of fertilisers. The Bhoochetna programme in Karnataka which is being replicated in Andhra Pradesh is a good example of collaborative efforts. Krishi Mahotsav in Gujarat and ‘Apni mitti pehechane abhiyan’ in Uttar Pradesh have been instrumental in rapidly increasing soil testing facilities.

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