Soil resources mapped
The National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning (nbss&lup), Nagpur, has finally completed its work on detailed soil resource mapping (srm) of all the Indian states. J L Sehgal, director, nbss&lup, says maps for a few states have been released and rest are ready for publishing.
srm basically encompasses identification, description and delineation of different kinds of soils and are useful to the farmers, extension workers, planners, administrators and decision makers.
The attributes chosen for describing the mapping units are soil texture, soil depth, available water, calcareousness, and drainage and characteristics of surface features based on which soils are classified.
"Using the soil survey database, the nbss&lup has prepared land degradation maps of each state and of the country, 60 agro-ecological maps on a sub-region basis at national level and has initiated work on district level", said Sehgal.
Based on the findings, the bulletin for various states has recommended various strategies for tackling the problems. In general, controlled grazing, erection of shelter belts and wind breaks, stabilisation of sand dunes has been recommended as remedial measures to minimise soil erosion in arid zones. Bund making, gully plugging, farm forestry, contour farming, water harvesting, and provision of drainage have been suggested for areas affected by water erosion.
A National Soil Resource Information Centre has been set up at the nbss&lup, where detailed computerised information on soil resource will be collected and made easily accesssible to user agencies, informed Sehgal.