Soil degradation is when soil deteriorates because of human activity and loses its quality and productivity. It happens when soil loses its nutrients, or its organic matter. It also happens when the soil structure breaks down, or if the soil becomes toxic from pollution. Simply, it is the breakdown of soil particles. When the humus level falls below 1%, the beneficial micro-organisms can no longer survive and disappear totally. At the point plant growth is severely compromised.
The situation mentioned above can be reversed and the degraded soil can become productive again. Often the main culprit of soil degradation is the inconsiderate and prolonged use of chemical products, weed killers, fungicides and insecticides over a long period of time.
Salt-affected soils are a major threat to agriculture, farm income and food production. These soils are present in arid-semiarid regions and cover approximately 7 per cent of the total land area of the Earth. In India, irrigation-induced salt-affected soils cover an area larger than naturally occurring salt affected soils, and both are widespread in the arid and semiarid agro-ecological region.
Soil salinity, sodicity, or a combination of both results in the degradation of land and affects its productive utilization.
|State||Saline soils (ha)||Alkali soils (ha)||Coastal saline soil (ha)||Total|
|A & N islands||0||0||77000||77000|
|J & K*||0||17500||0||17500|
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