Agri Business

Soil health card helps boost farm income: Study

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2020


Use of soil health card has helped farmers substantially reduce the cost of production and achieve higher production, thereby increasing farm income up to ₹30,000 per acre, depending on the crop, according to a government study.

The study, conducted by the National Productivity Council (NPC) in 76 districts of 19 States, covering 170 soil testing labs and 1,700 farmers, has been released on the completion of five years of the government scheme.

Better productivity

Soil health card provides information to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving its health and fertility.

“In absence of the soil health cards, it was acknowledged by the farmers that adequate quantity of fertilisers and micro-nutrients were not being applied by them earlier and this had affected the productivity of crops,” the study said.

According to the study, savings on fertilisers and increase in production led to increased income of the farmers.

For instance, there was ₹25,000-30,000 per acre increase in in come from tur, around ₹25,000 per acre from sunflower, ₹12,000 per acre from cotton, ₹10,000 per acre from groundnut, ₹4,500 per acre from paddy and ₹3,000 per acre from potato, it said.

Savings on fertilisers

Application of fertilisers as per the recommendation of soil health cards led to savings in nitrogen fertilisers such as urea, which resulted in reduction in the cost of cultivation.

In the case of rice, the cost of cultivation was reduced by 16-25 per cent and savings of nitrogen was found to be around 20kg/acre. In pulses, there was 10-15 per cent reduction in cultivation cost and savings of 10kg/acre urea.

Similarly in oilseeds, the reduction was 10-15 per cent and savings on nitrogen was 9kg/acre in sunflower, around 23kg/ acre in groundnut and around 30 kg/acre in castor.

Among cash crops, the reduction in cotton was 25 per cent and and savings on nitrogen fertiliser was around 35 kg/ acre, while in potato the saving on nitrogen fertiliser was 46 kg per acre, the study added.

Higher production

Stating that judicious use of fertilisers also resulted in increased production of crops, the study showed that there was 10-20 per cent increase in production of paddy and 10-15 per cent in wheat and jowar.

There was 10-30 per cent rise in production of pulses, 40 per cent jump in oilseeds and 10-20 per cent in cotton production, it said.

Under the scheme, soil health card is issued farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in fertilisation practises. Since the launch of the scheme, the card has been issued twice.

Published on February 17, 2020

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