New Delhi, December 5: “Mere Desh ki Dharti Sona Ugle Ugle Heere Moti” Is it merely a song or does it gives you any message? Yes it does. It gives you the message of Soil Importance, how rich our nation’s soil is. It yields what we eat. Money can buy food but can money grow food? It is nature which gifts us the food.
Just having talks on soil conservation is enough? No we should understand the importance of soil conservation from our own and implement the precautions necessary for soil conservation. So to make you remind the soil conservation necessity United Nations (UN) celebrates today as World Soil Day all over the world.
It is responsibility of international and national collaboration between governments, local authorities, industries and citizens to ensure implementation of coherent policies that encourage practices and methodologies that regulate usage of the resource to avoid conflict between users to promote sustainable land management. Despite the essential role that soil plays in human livelihoods, there is a worldwide increase in degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.
In the developing world, industrialization and urbanization are emerging as significant contributors to land and soil degradation. Lack of sufficient knowledge in soil management and disregard for the environment has been identified as key reasons affecting urban soil degradation. Industrialization alters the chemical aspects of the soil through pollution of heavy metals and effluents. Construction and landfills in urban areas affect soil through compaction and excavation, which affect natural processes such as water purification and storage. In the developing and developing world governance of soils in urban areas requires bespoke policies because of the nature of urban and industrial developments in the cities.
Soil plays an important role in ecological balance as Soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help us meet the challenges of a changing climate, 815 million people are food insecure and 2 billion people are nutritionally insecure, but we can mitigate this through soil, 95% of our food comes from soil, 33% of our global soils are already degraded.
Sometimes it does happen that while farming farmers add more amount of fertilizers on the crops and soil which may harm the soil and also sometimes incidents do happen that requirement of soil is different and we give a different nutrient to it. So to avoid this Government of India launched a scheme named as “Soil Health Card”.
Under the scheme, the government plans to issue soil cards to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilisers required for the individual farms to help farmers to improve productivity through judicious use of inputs. All soil samples are to be tested in various soil testing labs across the country. Thereafter the experts will analyse the strength and weaknesses (micro-nutrients deficiency) of the soil and suggest measures to deal with it. The result and suggestion will be displayed in the cards. The government plans to issue the cards to 14 crore farmers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also stressed on the importance of Soil through his radio talk show ‘Mann ki Baat’. He said that soil is integral for our existence. Without soil, existence of humans, each and every creature on earth is impossible. Is there is no soil then how will trees will grow? From where the food will come? So it is necessary to know the importance of soil and our culture knows it.We can conserve our soil by planting more and more trees which will protect soil erosion and also by ‘Contour ploughing’ orients crop furrows following the contour lines of the farmed area. Furrows move left and right to maintain a constant altitude, which reduces runoff. Contour plowing was practiced by the ancient Phoenicians, and is effective for slopes between two and ten percent. Contour plowing can increase crop yields from 10 to 50 percent, partially as a result of greater soil retention.
Terracing is the practice of creating nearly level areas in a hillside area. The terraces form a series of steps, each at a higher level than the previous. Terraces are protected from erosion by other soil barriers.
Terraced farming is more common on small farms and in underdeveloped countries, since mechanized equipment is difficult to deploy in this setting. It protects the soil from its erosion. It is one of the way by which soil erosion can be stopped.