Dhaka, Bangladesh
Proper management of soil is crucial

Editorial

Proper management of soil is crucial

As the World Soil Day was observed on Wednesday, there is a growing concern about the fertility status of soil, which has reached critically low due to deficiency in organic matters like nitrogen and potassium. The concern and worries are obviously not without valid reasons. Food security tops the list of the exigent issues in our economy. At present, a lot of roadblocks stand in the way of food security. This grave issue is hardly noticed by the common strata of people, who are generally ignorant about the fecundity of soil. They do not have any idea that soil, especially in upland area in the country, is running short of organic matters and nitrogen. This is the caution given by the soil resources experts and if the alert is skipped, it is likely to invite disaster for us. According to experts, rapid loss of soil fertility is exposing a grave threat to farm yield. Crop output is gradually diminishing and thousands of hectares of arable land have become almost barren. As far as we can remember, the government had undertaken efforts to protect cultivable land and for this it had set a target in the Seventh Five-Year plan to halt brick production using top soil from farmland by 2020. But the loss of soil fertility still continues. From the technical point of view, soil’s organic matters are stored up in its top layers. The shortage of organic matters disturbs the entire soil system. The organic content in about 60 per cent of the country’s arable area is far below two per cent, which ought to have been ideally five per cent which makes soil fertile. Besides, improper use of chemical fertilizers has caused a decline in soil fertility. The country is importing a huge quantity of chemical fertilizers every year, but it has been proved that there is lack of nutrition in the soil, whereas it is needed to maintain soil fertility at a standard level. ‘Dhonchey’ and pulses, which help improve soil fertility, are not cultivated now in bigger way. Moreover, there is a huge shortage of nitrogen and potassium in the soil. It is no denying the fact that ours is a classic case of poor management of soil as we are accustomed to take everything for granted. We are afraid, the continued exploitation of top soil and declining fertility of soil may seriously impact food production at a time when the population growth demands more food. Proper soil management is, therefore, crucial and a balanced use of every ingredient for improving soil health and fertility is indispensable. We have already over-exploited our soil and neglected the aspect of its fertility and now the nature is taking revenge by shrinking crop production. It is, therefore, a wake-up call for the agricultural sector.

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