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.
An outlay of ₹266.50 lakh is provided to Soil Survey department for implementing the following 4 schemes for the year 2019-20
I.STATE PLAN SCHEMES
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-90 Plan (Outlay: ₹ 120.00 lakhs)
The scheme envisages physical and chemical analysis of soil samples which form an essential component of soil survey. It supplements the field observations and enhances the quality of soil survey reports. The soil samples collected from the panchayats during soil survey are analyzed for its physico chemical properties, content of major nutrients and micronutrients in the different laboratories of Soil Survey. The analytical results help in soil profile analysis for taxonomic classification and in soil fertility assessment.
Presently, the various analysis are being carried out by the seven soil analytical laboratories functioning under the Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation, as listed below.
- Central Soil Analytical Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram
- Soil and Plant Health Clinic, Pathanamthitta
- Regional Soil Analytical Laboratory, Alappuzha
- Regional Soil Analytical Laboratory, Thrissur
- Regional Soil Analytical Laboratory, Kozhikode
- Hitech Soil Analytical Laboratory, Wayanad,
- Soil and Plant Health Clinic, Kasargod
In addition, the first mobile soil testing lab of the department has also been commissioned during the year 2016-17 and it is currently catering to the soil testing requirements of farmers of interior areas of the districts.
- 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.
Implementation of Central Sector Scheme on Soil Health Card under SHM component of NMSA : Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation is jointly implementing the Central Sector Soil Health Card Scheme under SHM component of NMSA , along with the Department of Agriculture in Kerala State, since the inception of the scheme in 2014-15.
2. Training of Soil Survey Officers
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-89 Plan (Outlay: ₹ 11.00 lakh)
The scheme has been implemented with the objective of imparting training to soil survey personnel in various fields like computer application, remote sensing, GIS and advancements in soil survey techniques, watershed management and capacity building. 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.The scheme has been implemented with the objective of imparting training to soil survey personnel in various fields like computer application, remote sensing, GIS and advancements in soil survey techniques, watershed management and capacity building. 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.
- Deputation of officers for training in State level institutes related to soil survey.
- For deputation of officers for national training in Remote Sensing and GIS, Dehradun and Hyderabad.
- Conduct of trainings, seminars, workshops, interfaces and technical sessions related to soil survey.
- Deputation of one officer for pursuing post graduate studies in Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) in the subjects pertaining to areas of function of the Department of Soil Survey and Soil Conservation. The allocation will cover the tution fees. The application along with the proposal may be placed before the Working Group by the Department.
3. SOIL INFORMATICS AND PUBLICATION CELL
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-86 Plan (Outlay:₹ 92.50 lakh)
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.
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.
The outlay is provided for meeting the expenditure towards detailed soil survey, purchase of cadastral maps, purchase of digital toposheets, satellite data etc, fuel expenses, hiring charges of vehicles for field activities, Purchase of machinery and equipments, cartographic materials, other software and hardware, engaging staff on contract basis and other related expenditure for publication of reports and maps and generation of digital soil information. Strengthening of the Geomatics lab and the general functioning of the Cell will also be met from this.5.
4. STATE SOIL MUSEUM
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-83 Plan (Outlay:₹ 30.00 lakh)
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.
The outlay is provided for strengthening and maintenance of soil museum including additional exhibits and library facilities.
- 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.
5. Creation of data bank for classification of land
Head of Account: 2402-00-101-82 Plan (Outlay: ₹ 13.00 lakh)
Creation of data bank for classification of land envisages categorisation of land based on the 22 fold classification of land use evolved by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA). The proposal is to include remote sensing technology to improve the efficacy of soil survey and to reduce the field survey-thematic map preparation time lag thereby making available the results of the survey to the end user before the next crop season.
Geo-referenced LISS 4 and CARTOSAT imageries of the area under study are used for data processing for categorization of land. Verification of the ground truth with image processed data at field level will be carried out. Based on the ground truth data, image processed data is rectified and the corrected land classification database prepared.
During 2019-20 ₹13.00 lakh is provided for meeting the expenditure related to interpretation of satellite imagery, field level ground truth check based on imagery interpretation, engaging contract staff technically proficient in Remote Sensing, GIS and imagery interpretation.