Wednesday 13 June 2012

Roll up, roll up for India's first soil museum

The Times of India reports that India is expected to get its first soil museum, designed to showcase its rich soil and mineral resources as well as to promote awareness about conservation and protection of ecology.   The museum, planned for the state of Kerala, will have a huge collection of soil samples, intended to provide information on soil types and crops suitable to each type.

The Times reports that of the 11 major global soil categories classified by the USDA soil classification system, the south western state of Kerala is endowed with nine types, ranging from black alkaline soil to extreme acidic soil.   One benefit of the soil musem will be to help improve understanding of soils amongst farmers, many of whom lack first-hand information on the nature of soil and consequently use excess fertilizers, resulting in low margins and high costs.

"The museum will also have a mini theatre where documentaries related to soil conservation and protection will be screened daily.  This will help research scholars, school students, farmers and nature lovers," Dr P N Premachandran, director of soil survey and soil conservation department, said.   Experts said the state has unique soil patterns suitable for paddy and horticulture cultivation. "The black cotton soil in Palakkad is ideal for vegetable cultivation and gives high yield. Similarly, the marshy soil where Pokkali paddy cultivation is done has rich micro-nutrients and farmers need not add additional fertilizers," Premachandran said.

You can read more about the museum here.