Soil Water Conservation and Dry Farming

Soil Water Conservation and Dry Farming
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Soil Water Conservation and Dry Farming

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177543056
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PREFACE Soil and water are the basic resources of the country and must be conserved as carefully as possible. The pressure of increasing population neutralizes all efforts to raise the standard of living and nutrition, while loss of efficiency in the soil itself nullifies the value of any improvements made. The present position is very serious, all experts agree. It is well known to every farmer that it is the topsoil layer which sustains agricultural production and once this layer is lost or destroyed, nothing can ever replace it. In the words of Lord John Boyd Orr, the first Director-General of FAO in 1948, Increases in agricultural production are possible through modern methods. But, these advances in science will be useless, unless there is enough good land for farming. If the soil on which all agriculture and all human life depend is wasted away then the battle to free mankind from want can not be won . To feed the world s population in the year 2010, agriculture production has to be increased by 60 per cent and this was expected to come from an intensification of agriculture on lands already under cultivation. In addition, FAO experts that an additional 600 million hectares FAO, 1979 of cultivated lands would be required to meet the additional food demands. An uncertainty in these estimates is the amount of land, being lost through degradation. Total historic loss of land through soil degradation is put at 2 billion hectares, the present arable area of the world being about 1.5 billion hectares. Kovda 1977 has put the annual loss of productive land at 5-7 million hectares. In India, out of 328 million hectares of
geographical area, 68 million hectares are critically degraded while 107 million hectares are severely eroded Anonymous, 1982 . In our country, out of an estimated 175 million hectares of degraded and cultivated lands, nearly all of them are subject to serious erosion hazards. The arid areas are subject to serve wind erosion. The semiarid regions, viz., the foothill regions of Aravalli and Siwaliks, are subject to severe sheet and gully erosion. The ravines of the Yamuna and the Chambal are continuing to move in the fertile Gangetic plans. People are still trying to cultivate much of these areas, and thus, contributing to further destruction. The pressure of increasing population neutralizes all efforts to raise the standard of living and of nutrition, where as loss of efficiency in the soil itself nullifies the value of any improvements made. That the present position is very serious, all agree. Soil and water conservation is the only known way to protect the lands and realizing its importance, the Government of India had established during the First and Second Five Year Plans, a chain of Soil Conservation Research, Demonstration and Training Centres. These Centres were later on transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR on 1.10.1967. The ICAR combined these Research Centres and stashed on 1.4.1974 the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute CSWCRTT with the headquarters located in Dehradun. The demand for plant and animal products is increasing continuously with the increase in population and standard of living. The basic