Came across a news item in the Business Line that kind of woke me up to an important area of concern – losing productive soil to erosion.
The news item says that “India is losing 5,334 millions tons of soil every year because of indiscreet and excess use of fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides over the year…”.
About 1 mm of top soil is being lost every year, according to the report mentioned in the Parliament. That’s a heck of a lot. This report was based on a study conducted by Central Soil Water Conservation Research and Training Institute (CSWCRTI), Dehradun.
I was under the impression that topsoil erosion was more owing to wind and rain than to fertilizers. A bit of reading confirmed that I was right, but it appears that indiscriminate use of fertilizers could play a role too.
Interesting…now, what could be a solution?
Of course, one of the best ways to stop erosion is to let crops and trees and forests as they are, but obviously, this will be difficult if not impossible in the context of farming. The other way could be to enrich the soil so that it can “reproduce itself”…here’s a brief explanation of how this could be done: “One method of building rich topsoil that reproduces itself is known as the terra preta system. By combining a mixture of bone fragments, manure and charcoal with dry, barren dirt, a rich layer of topsoil can be made”
What are your thoughts on soil erosion, especially in the context of fertilizer usage? Would the use of organic fertilizers help our cause in any way? Or any other ideas?