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Schemes and Programmes of the State Soil Survey Organisation
Publication of Soil and Land Resource inventory reports
Integrated survey of soil and land resources of Western Ghats region
The Soil Survey Organisation undertakes identification, delineation, prioritization, codification and soil and land resource inventory of different watersheds under Western Ghat Development Programme, National Watershed Development Programme for Rainfed Areas, Integrate Wasteland Development Project etc. and prepares reports and maps which are highly essential for developmental planning. The watersheds in the Western Ghat region of Kerala have been delineated in the Seventh Plan period itself. The details of these watersheds are available at all district Soil Survey offices.
All the watershed development programmes, presently being implemented by the District Collectors under WGDP are based on information provided by the Organization.
Conduct of District and Watershed level Training programmes under WGDP
Soil and Land resource inventory of Rice growing tracts of Kerala
Technical support to NABARD for development of watershed development in distress districts
Preparation of Land Degradation map of the State in collaboration with NRSA
High Intensity Detailed Soil Survey of Agricultural Farms
Soil Health card
Soil sample analysis
Research and Develapment activities
The various R&D Projects being undertaken by the Soil Survey Organization are the following:
Establishment of Geomatics Lab
The Soil Survey Organization could develop a software for the prioritization of watersheds and the module will enable the user to arrive at priority ratings easily based on field level information. In the MS Access developed system, based on the values fed for each class, the system automatically generates the priority group. The values are also stored in a table which can be queried to extract the required information.
The Soil Information of all districts of the state was published in CD ROM. The details on series, land type, elevation, drainage, texture, taxonomy and land use were provided in these CDs which serve as the base material for developmental planners and scientists for macro and micro level planning and implementation of various developmental programmes.
The Planning & Economic Affairs Department of Government of Kerala has entrusted the Soil Survey Organization the publication of prioritized micro Watershed Atlas of the thirteen districts of Kerala, coming under Western Ghats Development
The Geo Referenced Panchayat Atlas of Ernakulam district was published. This
A comprehensive report on the Kerala soils viz." Bench Mark SQils of Kerala" has been published. This publication is a ready reckoner to the researchers, planners, administrators and development officers. ,. Providing consultancy services to user agencies
NATURE OF WORK
A few user agencies of soil survey are listed below:
Types of survey undertaken
The type of survey undertaken when only a broad inventory of soil resources of the area is required. eg. for regional planning- soils mapped at soil association level using small scale map (1: 50,000 or more). An area of 30.62 lakh ha have been covered under Reconnaissance Soil Survey in the Sate.
Detailed soil survey
Detailed soil survey is the type of survey when high intensity studies are required for preparing actual project plan for proper land use by mapping soil at phase level using cadastral maps in the scale of 1:8000 or larger scales. Detailed soil survey has been completed in 17.57 lakh ha of Kerala.
Panchayat soil survey
With the restructuring of soil survey activities at district level, emphasis has been given to panchayat soil survey. High intensity survey is undertaken to record the type, extent and distribution of the soils their potentialities and limitations and problems encountered in each soil. Based on these observations, suitable management requirement for optimum production of each crop in different soils occurring in the panchayat, general development requirements of the panchayat and suggestions for improvement are included in the report along with the various interpretative maps such as soil and land capability map, soil conservation priority map, present land use map, suggested land use map and fertility map. 74 panchayat reports have been published under this programme till now.
Survey of watersheds
Delineation and soil survey of watersheds is another important work undertaken by the soil survey unit. The soil survey unit is entrusted with the task of delineating as well as soil survey of watersheds under national Watershed development Programme and Western Ghat Development Programme. The soil and land resource of the watershed are assessed, the problems that confront the area are identified, suitable remedial measures and management as well as location specific development programmes are suggested. 118 reports under the Western Ghat Development Program and 161 reports under NWDPRA have been published so far.
Soil survey unit has been undertaking specialized soil survey programs as per request of user agencies. At present, the soil survey unit is undertaking survey works for Kerala Water Supply Sanitation in Malappuram district and Malabar Botanical Garden, Kozhikode.The following schemes are being implemented by the Soil Survey unit
State Sector Schemes
The chemical analysis of soil samples forms an essential component of Soil Survey as it supplements the field observations and enhances the quality of the soil survey reports. Presently the various estimations like EC, pH, exchangeable acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, available N, P, K, available micro nutrient, mechanical analysis and other supportive analysis of the soil samples are being carried out at the Central Soil Analytical Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, Regional Soil Analytical Laboratory, Alappuzha , Thrissur and Kozhikkode and other newly established laboratories at Wayanad and Kasaragod
2. Training of Soil Survey Officers
Regular training of Soil Survey Officers in various fields like modern soil survey techniques, Remote Sensing and GIS are essential for the application of modern technologies in soil survey and deputation of officers for attending seminars and workshops etc. are included in the scheme.
3. Soil informatics and Publication Cell
The Soil Informatics and Publication Cell functions as a consultancy cell in various aspects of integrated management of land resources, providing information support to the local bodies and other agencies for the preparation of soil survey reports and maps and for formulation of programmes for the optimum use of land resources. The cell is entrusted with the task of collection, compilation and updating of all available watershed maps so far published by various agencies in the state.
Centrally Sponsored Schemes
Integrated Survey of Soil and Land Resources of Western Ghats Region
The Soil Survey Unit has been engaged in the identification, delineation, prioritization and detailed soil survey of the watersheds in the Western Ghat Region of Kerala selected under Western Ghat Development Programme.
High intensity soil survey carried out in watersheds will provide basic information on soil and land capability, present and proposed land use etc., for management of land, soil and water, based on characteristics such as soil texture, soil depth, slope, water availability, erosion hazard, production potential, problems, needs and priorities depending upon the limitations or hazards.
The project being implemented in Malappuram district under RKVY Scheme is Soil information system with special emphasis on Soil Health management system. The major activities being undertaken in this project are