Gandhinagar, 16 January 2021
Gujarat is the only region where coastal, geographical, desert coasts, riverside, low rainfall, deep groundwater irrigation are causing increasing problem of saline soil walkway. Deserts, seas, dams and boreholes have become a curse for the farmers of Gujarat.
White colour is found on alkaline soils. PH is less than 8.5. The electrical conductivity of soil soluble alkali is more than 4 dl per meter. Sodium content does not exceed 15%.
Farmers in Gujarat, 50% of the country’s total salinity land. In Gujarat, there is a total of 58.41 lakh hectares of saline and alkaline soil. According to that, if the support price of production of Gujarat farmers is treated as a loss, it would exceed Rs 10,000 crore. An average farmer has to lose 3 tonnes of agricultural produce per farmer on 3 hectares of land.
Despite being in the BJP government for 25 years, the focus is not on stopping the salty land. The same thing happened during 23 years of Congress rule.
Central government statistics
6.73 million hectares of land in the country is alkaline, say Central government statistics. In which the central government has declared a total of 14.35 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat as alkaline. In 2018, 16.8 lakh hectares of salinity were declared. Which is 56.84 percent of the total agricultural land of the country. Gujarat is one of the regions in the country where saline land tax is increasing every year in areas with a range of 1 to 10 km.
Central government report
According to a report by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, the central government has declared 67 lakh hectares of alkaline land in the country, causing a loss of 56.6 lakh tonnes of agricultural produce. There is a loss of Rs 8000 crore of agricultural production on the support price. According to him, farmers in Gujarat are losing Rs 4200 crore annually due to saline soil.
Saltwater seashore underwater
Gujarat has a sea of 1640 km. The green fields of Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar areas have now become dry. Mangrol soil has been drained from saltwater. Hence farming has gone bad. Salinity increases in the soil every year from 1 to 10 km from the sea. It has been salted to the Vanthali of Junagadh. It occurs on every coast of Gujarat, where there is less rainfall. The project of building a retaining wall along the coast to prevent salinity in Mangrol is not effective. The sea wall has to work. But it is not possible to build walls everywhere.
50 km salty water
There was a good Chorwad garden at Mangrol in Somnath. Salinity is increasing. Chorwad Gulab was the farm of Nagarvel. is no more. Chiku and coconut are grown.
The salinity of the river is high due to less rainfall and closure of the upper reaches of the estuary. The Narmada River is the last example.
The Bhals of Junagadh and the Ghades of Ahmedabad are areas where the land is equal to the sea and filled with saltwater. Jawaharlal Nehru formulated the Bhal Soil Reforms Scheme. Foreign scientists had come then. Bhal had to improve the saline soil. This project lasted for many years. But even today the situation is the same.
Bhal receives water from 4 major rivers of Saurashtra. Still in bad condition Where nothing but Chole. Water comes forward at high tide. Salinity is increasing in Vallabhpur or Dhola in the Bhal region of Ahmedabad, Botad. This has been a problem since Saurashtra was an island.
Narmada River is the ultimate example of this
After the closure of Sardar Sarovar on the Narmada River, the water level in the Narmada River has started to decrease. In summer, the sea reaches within 120 km. Therefore, the soil of the surrounding areas is getting salty. If it continues for long, millions of hectares of land will become saline. Such is the condition of the big rivers of Gujarat including Sabarmati.
Check dams should be constructed where salinity is increasing
Groundwater is saline in 6 districts around both deserts of Kutch. The Patan Division consists of saline soils of Patan, Saraswati, Chanasama and Harij taluka. Where there is no other crop now, millions of khark trees have grown. Two taluks, Mandal, Viramgam in Ahmedabad district have become salty land. Kutch used to grow rice but now there is the problem of salt water.
There are an estimated 20 lakh Kharek-raw date palm trees in Kutch. Kherek has been cultivated in Kutch for nearly five hundred years in Kutch. Kharek is an important fruit of Kutch.
In Mehsana and North Gujarat, saltwater is obtained by creating deep boreholes and pulling irrigation water from the ground. The soil there is getting salty now. In Gujarat, where canal irrigation has been done for years, the salinity of the land has increased due to the irrigation of dams in Kheda. It is seen in South Gujarat. Now, due to the Narmada Canal, millions of hectares of land may become saline after 5 years, where it will be the most waterlogged. It is more likely in Surendranagar. Less rain leads to scarcity of farm water and hence more ground water is used.
What do experts say?
Former Chancellor of Junagadh Agricultural University, KB Kikani, says that Gujarat has about 58.41 lakh hectares of saline land. If Narmada River is considered, by 2021, 60 lakh hectares of land has become saline.
Impact on farming
Saline soil causes poor seed germination. Grafts are difficult to place. The soil becomes sticky and hard when dried. Plants cannot take nutrients. Hence agricultural production has decreased. Farming for farmers Farmers are not economically nutritious, they should quit farming and the land becomes barren. Kikani said.
There should be rivers, dams, large check dams and embankments along the coast. Offshore, check dams or embankments should be made. Be declared a dark zone.
Newly cultivated agricultural crops are in saline soils. Soil and irrigation water should be analyzed. Gypsum, native organic fertilizers, should be used to reduce salts. Greenery. Increasing soil clearance. Crops can be selected to suit soil and climate.
Salicornia, Peanludi, Jojaba, Jatropha should be done for early planting cultivation. Once the soil dries well, zinc gel can be applied. There is also a special variety of wheat, which can be grown. Do not cultivate irrigation in summer and winter. The drainage capacity of the soil should be increased. Deep plowing and composting, green padwas increase drainage power. This prevents the soil from deteriorating.
It can be a crop
Some medicinal crops like divela, sugarbeet, khark, bor, chiku, cotton, jowar, wheat, millet, sunflower, jasmine, spinach, tomato, mango, pomegranate, guava and black cumin, sua, paddy, barley. The salinity tolerance of these crops is relatively high. (Translated from Gujarati)