Soil in India

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Soil in India

Soils in India

8 Major Soil Groups available in India by Negi Mohita

India as land investor

India is among the top ten that acquire land in other countries (more than 2 million hectares by end of 2015) - mainly in South-East Asia, South America and Eastern Africa.

Source: Land Matrix


The commons are the focus of public debate, especially in India where they cover 49 million hectares, or nearly 40 percent of the country’s 120 million hectares of arable land. As many as 70 percent of the population rely on them for food, fodder, fuel, grazing and building materials. But India’s rush towards development seems to leave no space for the commons. New factories and roads, burgeoning cities, some 500 new “special economic zones” and expanding biofuel plantations are eating into the common land; approximately 2 percent are being lost every 5 years. Groups that rely almost entirely on the commons for their livelihoods are especially vulnerable; these include historically disadvantaged tribes, pastoralists and fisherfolk who make up 24 percent of the population.
Soil Atlas, page 54/55

Land and Forest Rights

It is estimated that 8.3% of India’s rural population are landless – this means that over 72 million people do not have secure legal rights to the land that they live and work on.
The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS)

...the land acquisition bill [is] currently being pushed through Parliament by the Indian government.
The bill aims to streamline the currently cumbersome process of land acquisition. But critics argue that this will come at the cost of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable – its forest-dwelling tribes and farmers. The bill, say economists and rights campaigners, does away with hard-won protections that require the consent of those who would be affected by the loss of land, and lifts an exemption on the acquisition of productive, irrigated multi-crop land.

Indian land bill: 'We’re losing not just land, but a whole generation of farmers', the guardian, 2015

Women farmers

Agriculture is far and away the biggest employer for women. An estimated 68.5% of women work in farming, or around 77 million women. The majority of them are involved in crop farming, while the rest rear livestock. While male farmers may outnumber female, a far higher percentage of women work in farming than men. Only 46.6% of Indian male workers are employed in farming. Still, the number of women in farming seems to be coming down. When the NSSO gathered employment data five years earlier, 73.3% of women workers were in agriculture.
By the Numbers: Where Indian Women Work (2012)

Despite their dominance of the labor force women in India still face extreme disadvantage in terms of pay, land rights, and representation in local farmers organizations. … Women seldom enjoy property ownership rights directly in their names. They have little control over decisions made in reference to land. Even with land in their names, they may not have actual decision-making power in terms of cropping patterns, sale, mortgage and the purchase of land.
Women in agriculture in India

Project:Women farmers of India

Farming initiatives

Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 18 states in India.

The New Farmers of Bangalore
Soils can be replenished and yields can even be increased without the use of chemicals. Organic farmers in the Indian state of Karnataka show how it’s done.
GIZ, 2015

How a successful collective of smallholder farmers in India is showing the way.
A not-for-profit group of small-scale farmers in India is succeeding where others have failed – what is the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala doing right?
the guardian, 2015

Other reports

FAO Reports / India

Right to Land and Seed Documentary / Bangladesh
Food sovereignty in times of climate change