Written by Sofiya Shahiwala
World Soil Day is celebrated on the 5th of December every year to spread awareness and advocate individuals about soil, its fertility and the increasing danger towards the degradation of the soil.
‘Mere deshki dharti sona ugle,
Ugle, ugle heere moti…’
Just as the saying goes, it is evident that India is a country blessed with variety in each and every field, from natural resources to cultural heritages. Speaking of soil, we have six varieties of soil in India – Alluvial, Laterite, Regur (Black), Red, Sandy and Forest Soil. Each soil has its advantages and characteristic features which has blessed the farmers all around to produce better crops. It is significantly easy to recognize the types of soil according to its colour, texture and the relief features of the area.
Various problems are known to affect the quality of the soil. Some of which are very common concepts which we have heard of in our texts but probably might never have come across in real life.
Soil Erosion occurs when soil particles are removed, transported and deposited from one part to another. This leads to a loss of the upper layer of the soil, and extensive erosion might result in complete loss of fertility.
Saline means salty. Salinization means that there is a salt build-up on the surface of the soil. This is very common in vast desert areas, and it leads to crop failure and loss of fertility.
Plant growth, as well as any other activity related to soil, is favoured with the general pH range from 5.5 to 8.
Any massive increase or decrease in this inflicts damage to the ongoing crops and the potency of soil.
Desertification or Desertization is the spreading of desert areas (sandy soil) onto areas which were not previously deserted. Nearly one-fifth of the world is under threat because of desertification. In general words, it is the spreading of the desert area. This might lead to the removal of vegetation cover as well as a decline in productivity.
The name itself speaks volumes. With human occupancy, construction, mining, etc., the land has been constantly under machines, thereby affecting the soil. This has been one of the major reasons for soil degradation which has ultimately spoiled the health of the soil.
After acknowledging the aforementioned problems, we must also consider that the fertility and potency of the soil can be increased by undertaking various measures including irrigation methods.
Moreover, one must also take into account that disposing hot water on the land, or littering might also result in damage to the soil surface.
Soil is vital to human existence. Hence, it is important to maintain the quality of the soil, thereby helping the environment as well as helping our own selves.
Let us come together and preserve our ‘mitti’.
Note: Soil is something that we see all around us. However, it is substantial to not just know about the types of soils but to identify them and understand their features. Hence, our academy focuses on rooted and insightful learning which goes beyond textbooks and unto the real world.