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Soil Health Cards (SHC) Scheme

Soil Health Cards

On December 5, 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare initiated a program that aimed to empower local communities. This scheme involves the establishment of Soil Testing Labs at the village level, led by individuals with a background in agriculture, including educated youth, Women Self Help Groups, and Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs). The primary goal of the initiative is not only to enhance soil testing capabilities but also to foster employment opportunities by providing the necessary skill development to those involved.

What is Soil Health Card (SHC)?

  • On February 19, 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare introduced the Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme, providing vital information on soil nutrient status. This initiative suggests nutrient doses for better soil fertility.
  • Soil Health Card Day marks the scheme’s launch by the Prime Minister on February 19, 2015, although the official introduction was on December 5, 2015. The Soil Health Card is a printed report detailing 12 soil parameters.
  • Farmers receive it every three years, helping them decide on nutrient application. The goal is to enhance soil health, reduce costs, and increase profits.
  • Farmers can easily access their card from the SHC portal. The portal is accessible in 21 languages, making it convenient for farmers across the country.

Objectives of the SHC Scheme

  • To improve soil quality and profitability of farmers.
  • Employment generation for rural youth.
  • To update information on soil analysis.
  • To provide soil testing facilities to farmers at their doorstep.

Soil Testing Norms

  • In irrigated regions, we use GPS tools and revenue maps to draw soil samples in a grid of 2.5 hectares, while in rain-fed areas, the grid covers 10 hectares. The goal is to analyze 12 specific parameters crucial for soil health.
  • The responsibility of collecting these samples lies with the State Government, either through their Department of Agriculture staff or through an outsourced agency. Additionally, the government may involve students from local Agriculture/Science Colleges in this important task.
  • Sampling occurs twice a year—post Rabi and Kharif crop harvests or during periods when there’s no standing crop in the field. This ensures a comprehensive understanding of the soil’s condition and health.


Addressing Nutrient Deficiency: To tackle the nutrient insufficiency issue caused by the excessive use of urea and nitrogenous fertilizers, the government introduced the Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme. This initiative aims to combat the depletion of essential nutrients in the soil, such as potassium, nitrogen, sulfur, zinc, boron, copper, and phosphorus.

Empowering Farmers: The SHC scheme provides farmers with a valuable tool to assess and enhance both soil and crop productivity. The card offers crop-specific recommendations and outlines the physical parameters of fertilizers needed for their farmlands.

Boosting Soil Fertility: Farmers can leverage the SHC to implement integrated nutrient management strategies, ensuring the judicious use of soil nutrients. This approach contributes to an increase in soil fertility, benefiting agricultural productivity.

Smart Nutrient Management: Following the implementation of the SHC, farmers have successfully reduced the usage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilizers. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on the application of micronutrients, leading to improved soil fertility.

Tailored Crop Guidance: The SHC provides a personalized and field-specific report, offering farmers crop-wise recommendations for the required fertilizers and nutrients tailored to the specific soil type.

Fertilizer Recommendations: The SHC goes beyond generic advice by presenting two sets of fertilizer recommendations for six different crops. This includes guidance on the application of organic manures, providing farmers with comprehensive insights for sustainable agriculture.

Initiatives to Improve Soil Health

  • Organic Farming
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
  • Fertilizer Self-Sufficiency
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Carbon Farming
  • The Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme

Read Also: Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme

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