Assessment of Soil Fertility Status for Sustainable Productivity: A Study in Some Tea Garden Belts of Assam, India

Conventional farming has posed a significant challenge to the quality of food, the climate and the quality of water. The key cause of soil quality deterioration in irrigated areas is insufficient and unbalanced application of agrochemicals (fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides) to the soil and intensive soil tillage practises, resulting in stagnating or even declining crop productivity and quality. As population growth rises, there is a rapid demand for rising food production to promote the use of high yielding varieties and the need to use inorganic chemicals to satisfy market demand. The development became plateau with the use of the inorganic fertiliser during the late 60s; at the same time it produced many adverse effects such as the degradation of soil quality and environmental quality; eventually the quality of food. The need for an hour is to achieve, on a sustainable basis, greater crop yield from our limited land resources. Organic farming for sustainable agriculture is now gaining traction around the world in order to provide customers with a healthier climate and a better quality of food. It is important to evaluate the status of soil quality for the traditional agricultural system as a sustainable agricultural system, because fertile soil is the fundamental resource for higher crop production, better food quality and the climate. A research was carried out in the paddy fields of tea garden belts viz. maintaining on this mind. Rungagora, Balijan, Banwaripur, Khomtai, Rungajaun, Lattakoojan, Borjan, Behora, Negheriting and Borsapori of Golaghat district of Assam for pH, electrical conductance (EC), soil organic matter (SOM), accessible nitrogen (AN), exchangeable potassium (EK), available phosphorous (AP) and bulk density (BD) soil fertility status investigations during 2008-2010. The study area was divided into six fertility groups (MMML, MMHL, MMMM, MHHL, MHHM and MMHM) based on the SOM, available N, available P and exchangeable K in the soil. No changes in the soil fertility group were found for the majority of soil samples observed under the MMML group and soils of the Rungagora, Negheriting, Borsapori, Behora and Khomtai TE belt. During the study, Borjan TE belts were found to shift from MMHL to MMML, Balijan TE belts from MMHL to MHHL, Rungajaun TE belts from MHHM to MMHM and Lattakoojan TE belts from MMMM to MMML.

Author(s) Details

Bhupen Kumar Baruah
Department of Chemistry, Jagannath Barooah College, Jorhat, Assam, India.

Dr. Bhanita Das
Department of Statistics, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.

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