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Sustainable Soil Management For Every Nation!

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Unique Practices

Find specific sustainable soil management practices to improve soil health in your country

Farmer

Country

Agro Ecological Zone

Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) Practice

Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) Crop

India

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Subtropical Summer Rainfall

Cambisols

Fluvisols

Leptosols

Regosols

Gleysols

Planosols

Stagnosols

Lixisols

Acrisols

Subtropical Summer Rainfall

Cambisols

Fluvisols

Leptosols

Regosols

Gleysols

Planosols

Stagnosols

Lixisols

Acrisols

Crop Type Image

Croplands

Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. 70 percent of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82 percent of farmers being small and marginal. In 2017-18, total food grain production was estimated at 275 million tonnes (MT).  India is the largest producer (25% of global production), consumer (27% of world consumption) and importer (14%) of pulses in the world. India's annual milk production was 165 MT (2017-18), making India the largest producer of milk, jute and pulses and with world's second-largest cattle population 190 million in 2012.It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnuts as well as the second-largest fruit and vegetable producer, accounting for 10.9% and 8.6% of the world fruit and vegetable production, respectively.

Indian agriculture faces issues associated with adaptation to climate change disturbances, fragmented landholdings, low farm productivity and high food price volatility which call for next generation reforms like adoption of environmentally sustainable and climate resistant new farm technology, development of market for land consolidation and improvement in post-harvest practices.

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Crop Type Image

Feedlands

India caters to approximately 20% of the world's livestock population and about 17.5% of the human population on just 2.3% of the world's land area. The human population is increasing at a pace of 1.6% per annum, while the livestock population is increasing at a rate of 0.66% per year. These increasing human and animal populations are fighting tooth and nail for land resources for food and fodder production, respectively. As a result, cultivated fodders occupy only 4% of the entire cultivable land in the country. Presently, the country faces a net shortfall of 35.6% green fodder, 10.5% dry crop leftovers, and 44% concentrate feed ingredients. The option for increasing land area under fodder cultivation is very limited. Hence, it is a big challenge in front of us to utilize the available meagre land wisely with its fullest potential to produce the fodders for the animals. Which could be achieved by adopting suitable cropping systems, incorporation of fodder crops in food and other cash crop-based cropping systems on rotational basis, production of fodder on degraded lands by adopting fodder-based agroforestry systems and exploring other options of green fodder like azolla. The cropping system with forage crops provides a potential alternative to overcome the fodder problem as it utilizes the resources more efficiently.

Fodder crops are cultivated or harvested for feeding the animals in the form of forage (cut green and fed fresh), silage (preserved under anaerobic conditions) and hay (dehydrated/dried green). Sorghum (2.6 M ha) and Egyptian clover (1.9 M ha) account for roughly 54% of the total cultivated fodder area in the kharif and rabi seasons, respectively. Farmers are growing grasses and legumes including hybrid Napier, guinea grass, paragrass, velvet bean, stylo, etc. in many areas.

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Crop Type Image

Animal Rearing

Livestock is an integral part of agriculture, and it plays a significant role in the nutritional security of the masses. The sector employs 8.8 percent of the population by providing livelihood support to 20.6 million people.

Global milk production reached nearly 906 million tonnes in 2020 with India as the largest producer of milk with 22 percent share in total milk production in the world. In India, 50 percent of milk is consumed on-farm. India accounts for about 7.22 percent of the global egg production, 2.55 percent of global meat production and houses the largest population of milch animals in the world.

India's livestock population expanded from 512.06 million in 2012 to 535.82 million in 2019, representing a 4.6% increase over the last census with an annual growth rate of 0.66%. The main reason for our livestock's low productivity is malnutrition or under-nutrition caused by a wide disparity in demand and supply of feed and fodder in the country. Due to shortage of green fodder, particularly during the summer months, dairy farmers have been feeding a disproportionate amount of concentrates to their animals in order to maintain milk production.

There are many challenges the sector will come across during the process of achieving any set target in the future like disease outbreaks, antimicrobial resistance, and greenhouse gas emission, inadequate human resources and infrastructure for veterinary services, low productivity of animals, non-remunerative milk prices, the unorganized markets for livestock products, low animal productivity, poor livestock extension, and shortage of feed and fodder.

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Tropical - Lowland

Acrisols

Cambisols

Lithosols

Nitosols

Luvisols

Regosols

Yermosols

Solonchaks

Kastanozems

Gleysols

Tropical - Lowland

Acrisols

Cambisols

Lithosols

Nitosols

Luvisols

Regosols

Yermosols

Solonchaks

Kastanozems

Gleysols

Crop Type Image

Croplands

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. The geographical position of India has been very friendly for agricultural activities. The physical factors existing in India such as climate, soil, and relief became very helpful in the cultivation of so many crops. So from a long past, the Indians had taken agriculture as their basic means of livelihood. Then from the mid-1960 onwards, the traditional agriculture practices were continuously replaced by modern technology and farm practices in India. The Green Revolution started in India during the 1960s to elevate food production and feed millions of people across the country.

Desertification and land degradation are major threats to agricultural productivity in the country. Combating desertification and land degradation is one of the thrust areas identified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India, New Delhi. Around 96.40 Mha of land area in the country was undergoing degradation (i.e., 29.32% of the Total Geographical Area (TGA) of the country) during 2011–13.

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Crop Type Image

Feedlands

The productivity of pastures has also been falling due to overgrazing. Crop residues are expected to provide 54% of total fodder, while rangelands provide 18% and only 28% is met from cultivated fodder crops . There is currently a net deficiency of 35.6% green fodder, 10.95% dry fodder and 44% concentrate feed materials in the country. Besides continuous cultivation of rice-wheat causes deterioration of soil health, ultimately resulting in decreased production, the year-round availability of green fodder is a major challenge in the country. Therefore, diversification of rice-wheat systems with fodder crops on a rotational basis, as suggested by various workers.

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Crop Type Image

Animal Rearing

India experiences a tropical climate. More than 85% places in India experience moderate to high heat stress in April, May and June. Tropical climate offers hot and humid conditions to dairy animals which cause adverse effects on the animal’s health, production and welfare. In order to prevent the adverse effects of tropical climate proper, housing for dairy animals becomes necessary. In addition to heat stress, tropical climate has a hot-humid environment. Better management strategies become necessary to combat the adverse effects of heat stress that are imposed.

Indigenous cattle breeds: Gir, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Deoni, Hallikar, Amritmahal, Khillari, Kangayam, Bargur, Pullikulam/Alambadi, Umblachery, Dagri, Kenkatha, Konkan Kapila, Tharparkar, Hariana, Kankrej, Ongole, Krishna Valley

Indigenous buffalo breeds: Murrah, Surti, Jaffrabadi, Bhadawari, Nili Ravi, Nagpuri, Mehsana, Toda, Bargur, Banni, Chilika, Kalahandi, Marathwadi, Pandharpuri 

Sheep Breeds: Mecheri, Keezhakaraisal, Neelagiri, Marwari, Balangir, Bellary, Bonpala 

Goat Breeds: Jamunapari, Beetal, Tellicherry, Barbari, Sirohi, Osmanabadi, Malabari, Changthangi, Chegu 

Pig Breeds: Large white Yorkshire, Landrace, Niang Megha, Ghungroo Pig 

Poultry 

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FOR GOVERNMENTS

Global Policy Draft Recommendations

Recommended policy interventions that governments can implement to support farmers in executing sustainable soil management practices.

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Help Enrich the Policy Recommendations and Solutions:

These policy recommendations encapsulate the current state of soil science to the best of our knowledge. But soil science is a complex and evolving field, and we invite scientists and experts to send us constructive updates and inputs to improve these recommendations. Write to us at policy.support@consciousplanet.org.

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