Introduction to soil management
Soil is non renewable natural resource which supports life on earth. It needs to be managed successfully to support sustainable development. It is growing in economic importance because of a broader environmental agenda. Poor soil management in many regions, including parts Konkan and western Maharashtra, has progressively degraded productive soils. This is putting our food security at risk in the context of a growing and increasingly wealthy global population. The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning estimated that about 86% of land area in western Ghats and 75% in the Konkan coast suffer from sever to strong soil erosion. Land degradation reduces the productivity of land and total loss to the state economy from soil erosion is estimated at Rs 30billion (Rural Development and water conservation Department, GoM) It is estimated that world’s 1/6th of have already been degraded by water or wind erosion. This has two important consequences; firstly, the reduced ability of society to produce sufficient food due to loss of quality and depth of soils; and secondly, the offsite pollution effects connected with soil erosion. These include siltation of dams, pollution of watercourses by strong agricultural chemicals and damage to properties by soil-laden runoff. Konkan region is bestowed with unique biodiversity and is situated on the western side of Maharashtra State having hilly topography accompanied with heavy rainfall concentrated in very small span of 90 to 100 days. The problem of soil degradation and erosion is further aggravated due to 720km long coastline and mining activities and Sindhudurga and Ratnagiri Districts. Hence it was thought necessary to do a systematic study of the soil management in Konkan area which is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Maharashtra's Konkan area consists of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Thane and Greater Mumbai districts.
Konkan Division – Salient Features
Konkan division is one of the six administrative divisions of Maharashtra, which occupies the entire west coast of Maharashtra. It has 720Km long coastline with Arabian Sea extending from Dahanu of Thane district in north to Goa proceeding southwards. The Sahyadri Mountain range forms the eastern boundary of the Konkan, and the Arabian Sea marks the western boundary. •Area: 30,746 km²
•Population (2001 census): 24,807,357
•Area under irrigation: 4,384.54 km²
•Districts: Thane, Greater Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg
Thane District - Profile
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
Geographical Area : : 9558 Sq. Km
Population : 81,31,849
Normal Annual Rainfall : 2000 mm to 3000 mm
•The central portion having Sahyadri ranges and its slopes are mainly forest area. •The Central Region covering mostly paddy fields and
•Western part along the West coast, where horticulture, cultivation of high quality fodder and vegetables are agricultural practices.
Major Drainage: Surya, Kalu, Damanganga, Pinjal, Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tansa, Ulhas, Murbadi
3. LAND USE (2005-06)
Forest Area : 396400 Ha
Net Area Sown : 244600 Ha
Cultivable Area : 332100 Ha
4. SOIL TYPE
The soils of thane district can be conveniently divides into three categories. 1.Block Soil containing sand
2.Red soil in the eastern region mostly on the slopes
3.Brownish-black soil in the patches of the valleys mostly lying between the coastal plains and the hilly slopes of Sahayadri. The first type of soil, which is found in Dahanu, Palghar, Vasai and Thane tahsil, is fertile and useful for horticulture, Paddy cultivation and vegetables. Whereas, the second type which is found in Mokhada, Talasari and some parts of other tahsils on the Eastern slopes is useful for growing coares millets like Nagli and Varai. The third type of soil found in Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Shahapur tahsils is useful,...