Important Notes on Indian Soil and Agriculture
Types of Soil
- India is an Agrarian country & Soil is its prime resource. It plays a vital role in the economy of India as our industries are mainly Agro-based.
- About 65 to 70% of the total population of the country is depended on agriculture.
Generally, there are six types of soil found in India
- Alluvial Soil
- Regur or Black Soil
- Red Soil
- Laterite Soil
- Desert Soil
- Mountain Soil
1. Alluvial Soil
- Deposition of materials by sea and river is called alluvium and the soil formed due to deposition of alluvium is called as alluvial soil.
- This type of soil mainly found in the Indo-Ganga and Brahmaputra plain i.e. the whole northern plain and in some parts of the river basin in the south and some plateau region.
- This soil is also found in the deltas of the Mahanadi, Godavari, Cauvery and Krishna.
- Alluvial soil can be broadly categorised in two types i.e. New alluvial soil and old alluvial soil.
- Old alluvial soils are found in slightly elevated areas far away from the river and are clayey and sticky.
- The new alluvial soil is found in the floodplain of the river and is much fertile in comparison to the old alluvial soil.
- Crops Grown: Alluvial soil is suitable for the rabi and Kharif crop like cereals, cotton, oilseeds and sugarcane.
2. Regur or Black soil
- The regur or black soils have developed extensively upon the Lava Plateaus of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh mainly Malwa and are formed due to volcanic activities.
- These soils are very fertile and contain a high percentage of lime and a moderate amount of potash.
- The type of soil is especially suited for the cultivation of cotton and hence sometimes called ‘black cotton soil.’
Crops Grown: Cotton, Jowar, Wheat, Linseed, Gram, Fruit and Vegetable.
3. Red Soil
- Red soils develop on granite and geneses rocks under low rainfall condition i.e. due to weathering of the metamorphic rocks.
- These soils are red in colour due to the high concentration of Iron Oxide.
- These soils are friable and medium fertile and found mainly in almost whole of Tamil Nadu, South-eastern Karnataka, North-eastern and South-eastern Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand the major parts of Orissa, and the Hills and Plateaus of North-east India.
- These soils are deficient in Phosphoric acid, organic matter and nitrogenous material.
- Crops Grown: Wheat, Rice, Millet's, Pulses.
4. Laterite Soil
- Laterite is a kind of clayey rock or soil formed under high temperature and high rainfall and with an alternate dry and wet period.
- Laterite and lateritic soils are found in South Maharashtra, the Western Ghats in Kerala and Karnataka, at places in Odisha, small parts of Chottanagpur and in some parts of Assam, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and in western West Bengal (particularly in Birbhum district).
- Crops Grown:
- This type of soil is unsuitable for agriculture due to the high content of acidity and inability to retain moisture.
5. Desert soil
This type of soils found in Rajasthan, Haryana and the South Punjab, and are sandy.
- In the absence of sufficient wash by rainwater, soils have become saline and rather unfit for cultivation.
- In spite of that cultivation can be carried on with the help of modern irrigation.
- Wheat, bajra, groundnut, etc. can be grown in this soil.
- This type of soil is rich in Phosphates and Calcium but deficient in Nitrogen and humus.
6. Mountain Soil
- Soil found in higher altitude on the mountain is called Mountain soil.
- The characteristics of this type of soil are changed according to the altitudes.
- This type of soil is suitable for the cultivation of potatoes, fruits, tea coffee and spices and wheat.