Soil Health Management – NMSA, Soil Health Card, etc.

Green Manure and its productivity benefits


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Green Manure

Mains level: Soil Health Management

The Punjab agriculture department is promoting the cultivation of green manure these days.

What is the news?

  • Punjab Agro is providing subsidy on the seed at the rate of Rs 2,000 per quintal, which costs Rs 6,300 per quintal without subsidy
  • The farmers can avail its seed from the block level offices of the agriculture department as limited stock is available.

What is Green Manure?

  • Green manures are crops grown specifically for maintaining soil fertility and structure.
  • It is done by leaving uprooted or sown crops parts, allowing them to wither onto the field and serve as mulch and soil fertilizers.
  • They are normally incorporated back into the soil, either directly, or after removal and composting.
  • There are three main varieties of green manure, including
  1. Dhaincha
  2. Cowpea
  3. Sunhemp
  • Also some crops such as summer moong, mash pulses and guar act as green manure.
  • They can be sown after wheat cultivation

Characteristics of green manure

  • Green manure must be leguminous in nature
  • They must bear maximum nodules on its roots to fix large amount of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

Various policy initiatives

  • Under Sub- Mission on Seed and Planting Material (SMSP), the govt. provides 50% cost assistance for the distribution of green manure required for a one-acre area per farmer.
  • The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) promotes cluster-based organic farming with PGS (Participatory Guarantee System) certification.



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