Soil Health Card (SHC) is a government initiative enacted by the Government of India in February 2015. This scheme aims to provide farmers with essential information about soil nutrient status and recommendations for improving soil health. Under this program, farmers receive soil health cards containing detailed reports on their land’s nutrient composition, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding crop selection, fertilizer application, and soil management practices. Over 230 million soil health cards have been distributed to farmers nationwide. In this blog post, we will explore the Soil Health Card scheme’s features, implementation, and benefits.

Features of the Soil Health Card Scheme

Comprehensive Coverage: The government’s objective is to cover all farmers across India under this scheme, ensuring that every farmer has access to soil health information for their agricultural holdings.

Regular Soil Assessment: Each farmer is entitled to receive a soil health card once every three years. This periodic assessment provides farmers with updated data on their soil’s nutrient status and health.

Detailed Soil Analysis: The soil health card provides a comprehensive report that includes information on 12 parameters, covering macro and micro-nutrients (N, P, K, S, Zn, Cu, Fe, Bo, Mn), as well as pH, organic carbon (OC), and electrical conductivity (EC) – all crucial indicators of soil health.

Customized Recommendations: Based on the analysis of these parameters, the soil health card offers specific recommendations on the number of fertilizers and soil amendments required to optimize crop yields and maintain soil health in the long run.

Soil Sampling and Analysis Process

Soil Sample Collection: Soil samples are collected from farmer’s fields based on a grid pattern, with sample sizes varying depending on the type of area (irrigated or rain-fed). The State Governments collect the samples twice a year, preferably after harvesting Rabi and Kharif crops, through their agricultural departments or outsourced agencies,.

Testing in Soil Laboratories: The collected samples are sent to authorized soil testing laboratories for analysis. The Department of Agriculture, outsourced agencies, agricultural research institutions, or universities may own these laboratories. The soil samples are tested using approved standards for all 12 parameters to ensure accurate results.

Soil Health Card Generation: After testing, the data is processed and compiled into a soil health card report. The National Informatics Center (NIC) has developed a web portal that facilitates the generation of uniform soil health cards and fertilizer recommendations. Farmers can access the portal to track their soil samples, print their health cards, and locate nearby testing laboratories.

Benefits of the Soil Health Card Scheme

Informed Decision-Making: Soil health cards provide farmers with essential information about the nutrient composition of their soil, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding crop selection, nutrient management, and soil amendments.

Improved Crop Yields: Farmers can apply targeted fertilizers and soil amendments by identifying nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, leading to improved crop yields and overall farm productivity.

Sustainable Soil Management: The scheme encourages farmers to adopt sustainable soil management practices by promoting the judicious use of fertilizers and minimizing nutrient losses. This contributes to long-term soil health and environmental sustainability.

Expert Assistance: Farmers receive specialist advice from agricultural scientists to address soil-related challenges and implement appropriate corrective measures. This personalized guidance helps farmers optimize their farming practices and enhance their agricultural output.

Future Planning: With access to accurate and up-to-date soil health records, farmers can plan crop rotations, choose suitable crops, and implement effective soil management strategies for long-term productivity and sustainability.


The Soil Health Card scheme is a transformative initiative that empowers farmers with vital information about their soil health. By providing comprehensive soil analysis and customized recommendations, the scheme enables farmers to optimize their agricultural practices, improve crop yields, and enhance sustainability. Through this program, the Government of India aims to support farmers in making informed decisions, promoting efficient nutrient management, and ensuring long-term soil health for a thriving agricultural sector.