International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.4 (3), pp. 52-61, March 2016
Available online at https://www.journalissues.org/IJAPR/
Article 16/ID/JPR017/10/ pages
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.
Original Research Article
Soil suitability assessment for sustainable production of vegetable crops in Northern semi-arid region of India
*1Amara Denis M.K., 2Patil P.L., 3Gali S.K. and 4Quee, D.D.
1Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture, Njala University, Sierra Leone
2Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, 580005, Karnataka, India
3Department of Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, 580005, Karnataka, India
4Njala Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute, PMB,Njala Campus, Sierra Leone
* Corresponding Author Email: denismken(at)gmail.com, denismken(at)yahoo.com
A soil suitability evaluation of Singhanhalli-Bogur microwatershed in the Northern Transition Zone of India was undertaken in the present study in order to define the soil fitness for the production of tomato and cabbage, two major vegetables that have commanded high premium in the India vegetable market. The methodology employed involved matching land quality attributes that most influence crop suitability with biophysical requirements (crop criteria) for growing tomato and cabbage. The suitability assessment for both crops was conducted using the method described in FAO guidelines of land evaluation for rainfed agriculture. Four soil series and twelve soil associations were identified and assessed for their suitability for growing tomato and cabbage. Overall, the soil-site characteristics of the study area revealed that soils are suitable for tomato and cabbage production. Climate, with the exception of total annual rainfall, topography, drainage and soil toxicity were highly suitable for growing tomato and cabbage in the study area. The potential fertility of soils in the study area was also optimal. Soil depth and texture were highly suitable but however, the volume of coarse fragments in soils of Mugli, Bogur and Venkatapur series was observed as a moderate limitation for growing both tomato and cabbage in the study area. Soils of the Singhanhalli series showed a pH value of 7.7 which falls out of the optimum pH range for both crops. Hence, the major limitations to tomato and cabbage production are surface gravelliness, coarse fragments and soil pH. Appropriate soil fertility management recommendations through integrated soil fertility management approach should be applied to address these limitations as their lack of attention could affect the availability and uptake of nutrients by these vegetable crops in the study area.
Key words: Soil suitability, soil fertility, tomato, cabbage, India.