Soil health cards for Udupi farmers

The Agriculture Department has taken the initiatives to introduce soil health cards for farmers under Soil Health Mission across the district.

The soil health card is issued as part of a programme designed to ensure field specific detailed report of soil fertility status and other important soil parameters that affect crop productivity.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Agriculture Department Joint Director Antony Maria Immanuel said the soil health card programme has been taken up to issue soil health cards to all farmers in the district in two years to provide a basis to include nutrient deficiencies in fertilisation practices.

He said that the target before the department for two years is to collect 35,416 samples. Each year, the department has to collect 17,708 samples based on the parameters prescribed under the programme. It is done to diagnose soil fertility related constraints with standardised procedures for sampling and analysis, he added.

Immanuel said a grid is formed for 10 hectares of farm land to be useful to detect through mobile app which is specially designed for the purpose. The geo-sensitive GPS in the mobile app would capture the pictures and also link to the survey numbers of the land, which in turn would assist to identify the owner of the agricultural land. There might be any number of farmers in that particular grid structure of the farm area. The mobile app is ready and the sample detection and collection will be taken up soon. This helps to develop crops’ specific nutrient management in the district for enhancing nutrient use efficiency, he stated.

He added that the programme envisages proper documentation of soil health and preparation of soil map besides, distribution of soil health cards to farmers so that they are guided for scientific nutrient managements.

The programme will also check overuse of fertilisers and its adverse effects and help to increase the crop production through its sustainable soil management programme, paving way for organic farming, he said.

He added the collected soil samples are registered and maintain a separate register. This would help creating awareness among the farmers regarding importance of soil health and fertilization, he stated.

Immanuel said that Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (traditional farming improvement programme) is introduced in the district under Soil Health Mission. This programme concentrates on soil augmented with organic farming. Under this programme, three clusters are set up in each taluk for   sample collections. In Udupi, 90 samples, 136 samples in Kundapur taluk and 122 samples in Karkala taluk are collected and being analyzed. The analysis of 21 samples are completed and farmers are given the soil health cards in the district. The card given would be valid for three years, he added.

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