1. Agriculture World

India's Soil Organic Carbon Content Dropped From 1% To 0.3% in Last 70 Years: Report

Intensive crop cultivation without proper compost to the soil is the cause of the fall in SOC content, adding that farmers should reduce their reliance on pesticides and fertilizers. Biofertilizers and compost can raise the soil's SOC level.

Shivam Dwivedi
Soil
Soil

Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) content in India has fallen from 1% to 0.3% in the last 70 years, causing concern in the agriculture sector, according to National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) CEO Ashok Dalwai.

He told reporters in Nagpur, Maharashtra, on Friday evening that soil organic carbon is the main component of soil organic matter and gives soil its water-retention capacity, structure, and fertility. Dalwai stated that such a drastic drop in OSC content affects soil productivity because microorganisms do not survive, which is a critical factor in providing nutrients to plants.

"Intensive crop cultivation without proper compost to the soil is the cause of the fall in SOC content, adding that farmers should reduce their reliance on pesticides and fertilizers. "Biofertilizers and compost can raise the soil's SOC level," he added.

He stated that over the last 70 years, around 51% of the land in the country has been irrigated through major, minor, and micro-irrigation projects, but 51% of land under cultivation is rainfed.

"The government is implementing technologically advanced micro-irrigation projects in these areas, which will save 30 to 40% water," Dalwai explained.

He stated that crop production on irrigated land averages 3 tonnes per acre, while crop production on rainfed land is only 1.1 tonnes per acre.

Dalwai stated that the Centre's pulses mission increased pulse production from 16.7 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 25 million tonnes in 2021-22. Similarly, oilseed production increased to 32 million tonnes. tonne in 2017-18, up from 24 million tonnes in 2016-17.

He also stated that the government was experimenting with sugar beets as a sugarcane substitute for sugar production.

"Sugar factories have only six months to harvest sugarcane. The use of sugar beet as a substitute would reduce factories' reliance on sugar cane, " he continued According to BS Dwivedi, Director of ICAR- NBSS&LUP, a land resource inventory (LRI) and alternate Land Use Plans (LUP) are being prepared for the Vidarbha region in eastern Maharashtra.

(Source: The Print)

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