English Free Article | Technology |

Mobile App for Soil Health Card for Farmers linked through the Satellite

Innovations in agricultural technologies and management have led to rapid agricultural development in many pockets of India. But this development, especially at the soil health level, has led to deficiencies especially in micro-nutrients that has affected the farm output.

Soil Health Management (SHM) involves balanced nutrition levels in soil that are required for sustainable agricultural development, and through this, farmers learn about the status of soil health or soil nutrients in their fields.

Soil Health Card

To achieve this, the Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme was launched in the year 2015 by the Government of India. It was launched to help farmers to know their soil health conditions as represented by 12 important soil parameters (viz. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, pH, EC, Organic Carbon, Sulphur, Zinc, Boron, Iron, Manganese and Copper).

To support this initiative the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a mobile application along with a web portal. Currently, SHCs are now being provided through the BHUVAN portal in six states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

SHC through BHUVAN portal has web and mobile interfaces. These interfaces work together and helps in registration of soil samples, recording test results of soil samples and generation of Soil Health Cards (SHCs) along with fertilizer recommendations.

Bhuvan soil health card portal

Fig: Flowchart of information flow across mobile app and SHC web portal
Source: Technical manual. 2017. Bhuvan soil health card portal. National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Department of Space, Govt. of India.

This registration is linked with the mobile numbers of users and a unique ID is generated.  This unique ID is used to label the soil samples. Soil analytical data is entered and SHC is generated through this ID only.

Analyst web interface is provided for entering soil analytical data and the recommended web interface is used for fertilizer recommendation and moderation as per need. These recommendations are further used to generate soil health cards either for single users or for entire villages or mandals/blocks. A separate interface on mobile applications for recommendations for any crop at any point of time in local languages is also provided.

BHUVAN Web Soil Health Card

BHUVAN Web Soil Health Card Portal Interface

Source: BHUVAN

BHUVAN

Fig: Mobile application Soil Health Card Interface
Source: Technical manual. 2017. Bhuvan soil health card portal. National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Department of Space, Govt. of India.

Soil Health

Fig: Sample Soil Health Card generated after moderation of recommendations
Source: Technical manual. 2017. Bhuvan soil health card portal. National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Department of Space, Govt. of India.

The salient features of the SHC portal are:

  • It records farmer’s name, precise GPS location, survey number, village, mandal/block, district, state and mobile number.
  • Stores soil sampling details, crop sown in previous season and crop intended to be sown.
  • Provides broad soil type, known soil depth, major land problems observed by farmers and other land details.
  • Integrates farmer details, land details, soil analytical data on single platform.
  • Generates fertilizer recommendations dynamically for different crops.
  • Mobile application helps to register new soil sample data as well as to provide fertilizer recommendation on 24×7 hours to farmers.
  • Provides geo-spatial analysis and visualization of soil sample data.

SHC by ISRO is a robust decision support system or tool that is fulfilling the important requirement of achieving timely dissemination of soil nutrient status to farmers along with recommendations for nutrients and fertilizers required for individual farms. It is also helping farmers to improve productivity through well judged use of nutrients and fertilizers. No doubt with the increase in number of users and awareness about this application agricultural productivity is going to thrive in a sustainable manner.

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