Govt calls for farmers' movement on integrated soil nutrient management
Deterioration of soil physical, chemical, and biological health has been considered as one of the main reasons for the stagnation in agricultural productivity in India.
The Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, while reviewing the progress of the Soil Health Programme on May 6, directed to run the mission mode awareness campaign to increase the use of organic and biofertilizers and to reduce the chemical fertilizers based on the recommendations of Soil Health Card.
During the programme, the Union minister also called for making the integrated soil nutrient management a farmer’s movement.
Deterioration of soil physical, chemical, and biological health has been considered as one of the main reasons for the stagnation in agricultural productivity in India. The major focus of the programme in 2020-21 will be on farmer awareness in over 1 lakh villages all over the country.
• Shri Narendra Singh Tomar encouraged to set up a village level soil testing lab by the youths who have an education in Women Self Help Groups, agriculture, FPO’s, etc.
• He also stated that the Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme will majorly focus on the employment generation after skill development.
• The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare will also launch a campaign on soil test based rational application of fertilisers along with the promotion of organic farming, that will include Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP) for the nutritious food in association with the Departments of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Drinking water and sanitation.
About SHC Scheme:
The scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi on Feb 19, 2015, at Rajasthan. Under the scheme, Soil Health Cards have been provided to all the farmers at an interval of 2 years.
The card provides helpful information to the farmers on their soil’s nutrient status. It also provides recommendations on the appropriate dosage of nutrients to improve soil’s health and fertility.
The card also provides two sets of fertilizer recommendations for the six crops, it also includes recommendations of organic manures. Farmers can also ask for recommendations for additional crops on demand.
The farmers can also print their own cards from the SHC portal. The portal also has farmers database of both the cycles and has been available in 21 languages for the farmer’s benefit.
Benefits of SHC Scheme:
As per the study done by the National Productivity Council (NPC) in 2017, it was found that the scheme had promoted sustainable farming. It also led to a decrease in chemical fertilizer application in a range of 8-10%.
An overall increase of around 5-6% in the yield of crops was reported due to the fertilizer application. There was also an increase in micronutrients as per the recommendations in Soil Health cards.