Isn't amazing to know that every 1 gram of soil is home to thousands of diverse species of bacteria, microscopic fungi, algae, cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, protozoa, nematodes, macroscopic earthworms, and insects? In fact, every one square meter of soil can contain about 10 million nematodes and 45,000 microarthropods (springtails and mites). The soil has more species in it than 1 km. sq. of rainforest and all these micro-organisms present in the soil play a critical role in promoting plant growth.
However, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, soil erosion, erratic rainfall & unscientific agricultural operations are posing a severe threat to the soil. Soil health management is critical for the long term sustainability of farming. ITC has institutionalised a three pronged approach that addresses the physical, chemical & biological health of the soil in a sustainable manner.
Physical Soil Health: In order to improve the structural stability of the soil and reduce the impact of erosion and compaction, a dedicated soil compaction management initiative is being undertaken where compaction in the farm fields are addressed. As a result of this intervention, the water-holding capacity of the soil increase which helps soil organisms to endure.
Chemical Soil Health: ITC constantly works with farmers - bringing out large scale, field specific, soil fertility status maps using contemporary techniques. Based on these maps, site specific nutrient management recommendations are provided thereby greatly reducing chemical fertilizer application thereby improving soil health.
Biological Soil Health: Organic amendments such as Green manuring, Farm yard manuring, Vermi composting are propagated in large scale. This initiative helps in increasing the organic carbon content in the soil which in turn provides diversity for beneficial organisms.
One more touch point with an ITC Paper!