Soil, despite providing food, fuel, fodder and fiber-the basic essentials to sustain life, is the least cared, most neglected and exclusively misused natural resource. Proper handling of this precious, finite and non-renewable resource, therefore assumes fundamental and paramount importance. In the present on-demand situation, shrinking soil and land resources base as a result of ever increasing population, continued soil/land degradation, diversion of agricultural land (including prime land) for non-agricultural purposes, changing climate and declining productivity are, among others, major issues of concern.
There is therefore, urgent need to derive sustainable means to address these issues. This, in turn, necessitates inventory development of the soil and land resources and judicious management and utilization of these resources suited to their production potential through land use planning. It is my immense pleasure to inform you that National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) Nagpur has initiated much awaited project on “Land Resource Inventory and GIS Database for village level planning on 1:10,000 scale”. The project promises to develop soil database and maps including those on soil morphology, soil site characteristics and soil fertility parameters. It involves application of latest technology of Remote Sensing, GPS and GIS. The database generated in the course of project will be of immense use for whole watershed management, soil health restoration, irrigation scheduling, integrated nutrient management and of course alternate land use planning in the background of climate change. Sufficient scope lies in the project to develop soil information system, which will be hosted on NIC server. The project is one step forward towards ensuring food security, mitigating the adverse impact of degradation and resolving the issues related to the predicted climate change.
The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use planning (NBSS&LUP), one among the foremost National Resource Management (NRM) institutes of ICAR is mandated to undertake RD&T activities mainly in soil resource inventory and land use planning at different levels. Other important development of RD&T activities include among others/modification of agro-ecological sub-regions, assessment of degraded land, site-specific nutrient mapping and management, and assessment of carbon stock and sequestration potential, assessment of agricultural land (including prime land), bring used for non–agricultural purposes!