The Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation is playing a lead role in catering the soil and water conservation requirements of the state and serves as the information hub for scientific and reliable information on soil and land resources for formulation and implementation of various soil and water conservation projects. The soil and land resource inventory of each area through detailed soil survey carried out by the Department will provide necessary scientific data for adopting suitable soil and water conservation measures. The creation and updation of the scientific database on soil and land resources through various kinds of Soil Surveys and formulation and execution of developmental programmes at micro and macro level is one of the major mandates of the department.
I.STATE PLAN SCHEMES
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-90 Plan
There are 7 Soil Analytical laboratories functioning under the Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation. These laboratories undertake pedological and fertility analysis including micronutrient analysis of soil samples. Analysis of heavy metal contamination in soil and water samples is also undertaken on need basis. Facilities for microbiological analysis and pesticide residue analysis are also available.
- Pedological as well as fertility analysis of soil samples collected from panchayats and watersheds as part of Detailed soil survey .The analytical results help in soil profile analysis for taxonomic classification and in soil fertility assessment.
- Providing Soil Health Management support service to farmers. The soil samples collected from selected panchayats and those received directly from farmers are analyzed for its physico chemical properties, major and micronutrients in the different laboratories of Soil Survey for issue of Soil Health Cards
- Consultancy services to outside agencies by providing analytical support for research projects of various organizations, NGO’s and individual farmers on request, realizing nominal charges, thereby generating non tax revenue.
- Providing additional facilities to the existing Soil Analytical Laboratories for carrying out different soil analyses for soil classification and soil health management support.
2. Training of Soil Survey Officers
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-89 Plan
The officers of the department are deputed for training in soil survey related fields, Remote sensing and GIS applications, watershed management and capacity building etc, in institutes both inside and outside the state, enabling exposure of officers to latest developments in the field of GIS and Remote sensing and its applications in watershed development, soil survey related activities etc.
- Regular training of soil survey officers in various areas like modern Soil Survey techniques, remote sensing, and GIS are essential for the application of modern technologies in soil survey.
- Conduct of trainings, seminars, symposia, workshops, conferences, interfaces and technical sessions related to soil survey.
- Deputation of one officer for higher studies in Soil Science from 2014-15 onwards.
3. SOIL INFORMATICS AND PUBLICATION CELL
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-86 Plan
The Soil Informatics and Publication Cell is entrusted with the task of generation and publication of technical reports and maps of Soil and Land Resource Inventory of districts, panchayats and watersheds, and other technical bulletins required for soil based land development programmes.
- Support for publication of technical reports on Soil and Land Resource inventories of districts, panchayats, watersheds, district farms and other bulletins required for soil and land development programmes.
- Act as a consultancy Cell in various aspects of integrated management of soil and land resources and provide services to user agencies approaching the department for soil and related data for research and planning purpose.
4. DETAILED SOIL SURVEY AT PANCHAYAT LEVEL
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-84 Plan
This project was launched during the year 2012-13, with the objective of generating cadastral level information on soil and land resources, socio-economic data and infrastructural facilities at panchayat level after detailed soil and land resources survey and generation of thematic maps and data sets for setting up Panchayat Level Information System under GIS environment. The scheme was sanctioned for two years from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
- Generation of comprehensive information on soil and land resources, socio-economic data and infrastructural facilities on cadastral basis at panchayat level after detailed soil and land resources survey
- Creation of thematic maps and data sets for setting up panchayat level Soil Information System under GIS environment.
- Development of a GIS based spatial model for delineating suitable sites for agriculture development along with a land resource action plan for the future development.
Micro level Soil Information System on Soils of Kerala (MISSK) : The Department has launched the Micro level Soil Information System on Soils of Kerala in the year 2015. The soil resource database at cadastral level/1:12500 scale of panchayats in the digital format will be uploaded in the Micro level Soil Information System on Soils of Kerala (MISSK) in the department website for easy and direct access bylocal self government institutions and other stakeholders. The generation of the micro level Soil Information System on soils of --- panchayats of Thrissur and Wayanad districts have been completed and the process is in progress for the remaining panchayats.
5. STATE SOIL MUSEUM
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-83 Plan
State Soil Museum, a documentation and reference centre on the Soils of Kerala aimed to provide an overview on the heterogenous soils of the state is functioning on the first floor of the Central Soil Analytical Laboratory Building at Parottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram. The museum showcases the diversity and uniqueness of the soils of the state of Kerala. The museum is exhibiting the 82 major benchmark soils of Kerala as it is seen in nature, in the form of soil monoliths all under one roof. Each monolith is accompanied by information on the taxonomic class, nutrient status, productivity potential and an interpretation showing the suitability for various crops, optimum land use and managerial requirements. The Museum also boasts of a collection of the eight soil types found in Kerala,collection of rocks and minerals, a working model of watershed, models of different soil and water conservation measures etc. Soil maps and watershed atlases of all the 14 districts of Kerala are displayed in the museum. The soil museum also include a Soil Information Centre, which is a repository of comprehensive information about soils and a Mini-theatre for display of short films and documentaries on soil.
- To develop and strengthen the State Soil Museum to international standards by enhancing the existing facilities and provide additional facilities, to develop the State Soil Museum into a premier institute at national level.
- Imparting awareness to the society on the urgent need for conservation and sustainable management of the precious natural resource, soil, for the existence and sustainability of life on this planet.
CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES
“INTEGRATED SURVEY OF SOIL AND LAND RESOURCES OF WESTERN GHAT REGION ON WATERSHED BASIS”.
Head of Account: 2551-01-101-99 Plan
This Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Integrated Watershed Development Schemes of Western Ghats under Hill Areas was being implemented by Soil Survey till the scheme was discontinued in 2015-16.
The activities under this scheme are summarized as follows:
- Delineation, codification and prioritization of watersheds in the Western Ghat tract of the State is undertaken by the Soil Survey unit.
- High intensity soil survey in watersheds providing basic information on soil and land capability, present and proposed land use etc., for management of land, soil and water, based on characteristics such as soil texture, soil depth, slope, water availability, erosion hazard, production potential, problems, needs and priorities depending upon the limitations or hazards.