In this article, we are going to see the eight different types of soils found in India.
India is a large country with an area of 3,287 million km², therefore the landscape varies greatly. Furthermore, India is an agricultural nation. So, the vivid landscape allows Indians to grow a great type of crops throughout the year. The main factor that affects the quality of the crop is the soil. Being a large country, India has different types of soils.
These soils vary due to different environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and terrain in that area. The terrain is not very similar in a land like India; therefore the soil also varies across the land. Not only for color and texture, but these soils also vary in quality and types of minerals. Therefore, these soils are necessary to be classified into different types. This work was taken up by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). They started a survey in 1953 and classified Indian soils into eight main types. So here is a list of eight different types of soil found in India.
EIGHT DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOILS FOUND IN INDIA
8 Different types of soil found in India – Alluvial soil
- The alluvial soil constitutes 42% of the total soil area in India.
- It is formed as a result of the deposition of rivers and, therefore, it is more fertile and rich in organic material.
- Alluvial soil is found in abundance in the states: Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, and Brahmaputra Valley in Assam, etc. from India.
- The alluvial soil is the best for crops such as wheat, rice, cotton, jute, barley, corn, oilseeds, coffee, potatoes, chili, cloves, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Black soil
- Black soil constitutes 15% of the total soil area in India.
- It is formed as a result of the erosion of the lava rocks of the Deccan plateau and, therefore, it is rich in iron, magnesium, silica, lime and potash.
- It has a high clay content and has a high water-retention property.
- Black soil is found in abundance in the states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh.
- Black soil is the best for crops such as: ground mulberry cotton nut, chili, cotton, tobacco, chili, oilseeds, jowar, ragi, corn, castor, sugar cane, safflower, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Red Soil
- Red soil constitutes 25% of the total soil area in India and is the most widespread soil.
- It is formed as a result of erosion of granite and gneissic rocks.
- It is rich in iron, phosphate, lime, potash, and humus and is compatible with a wide diversity of crops.
- The main areas of red soil in India are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh.
- Red soil is the best for crops such as cotton, wheat, legumes, tobacco, jowar, flaxseed, millet, potatoes, and some fruits, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Laterite Soil
- Laterite soil constitutes 4.5% of the total soil area in India and is the most acidic soil.
- It is rapidly eroding in deforestation, mining and plantations.
- It is not suitable for agriculture but it is suitable for special crops such as tapioca and cashew.
- The main laterite land areas in India are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Meghalaya, West Bengal.
- Laterite soils are better for crops such as tea, coffee, coconut, rice, wheat, cotton, corn, sugar cane, jute oil seeds, millet, legumes, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Mountain Soil
- Mountain soil is a thin layer of soil formed under a cold, wet climate.
- Not suitable for agriculture, but better suited to forestry.
- The humus content is high in this soil due to the climate.
- The main mountainous soil areas in India are Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam.
- Mountain soil is better for crops such as coffee, tea, wheat, corn, blueberries, saffron, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Alkaline or Saline soil
- The saline-alkaline soil is found in the canal areas.
- In moderate arid conditions, calcification occurs and in extremely arid conditions, salinity occurs.
- The main areas of saline and alkaline soils in India are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, etc.
- The soil is the best for crops such as Seem, Rice, Sugarcane, Fruits, Spices, etc.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Desert Soil
- The desert floor is sandy and loose.
- Due to its thick structure, the water holding capacity is much lower.
- Since it has few nutrients, it is not suitable for agriculture.
- The main desert soil areas in India are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab.
- The soil is better for crops like Xerophytes only.
8 Different types of soil found in India – Peaty or Marsh Soil:
- These are black, heavy, and highly acidic soils.
- When the vegetation that grows in those humid places dies, it decomposes and a layer of partially decomposed organic matter accumulates on the surface, giving rise to such peaty and swampy soils.
- The main areas of peat and swamp soils are Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttaranchal.
- This soil is the best for crops such as rice, oilseeds, citrus, tobacco, sugar cane, etc.