The National Soil Services Center (NSSC) is located at Semtokha 6.7 km west of Thimphu on the road to Paro below Semtokha Dzong and across the river (Ola Rong Chhu) from the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) as shown below. The Centre lies at about 270 26′ N and 890 40′ E at an altitude of just over 2,300 masl and comprises a series of alluvial terraces with northerly aspect to the Ola Rong Chhu. Most of the NSSC site is about 40m above the Ola Rong Chhu. The soils of the terraces are generally gravel free, well drained sandy clay loam to clay loam sometimes with some staining from iron or manganese evident.
The Centre was created in the 8th Five Year Plan period and reports directly to the Department of Agriculture (DoA) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MoAL). The aim of the Centre is to co-ordinate soil/land management research activities of the RNR sector. There are five programs: viz. Soil and Plant Analytical Laboratory (SPAL), Soil Survey Program (SSP), Soil Microbiology Program (SMP), Land Management Program (LMP) and Soil Fertility Program (SFP). The descriptions of each program are provided below. In addition, there are two projects in NSSC viz. WB/GEF Project (Sustainable Land Management Project) and UNDP/GEF Project (Building capacity and mainstreaming sustainable land management in Bhutan).