Balochistan Soil and Agriculture: Negligence of the Authorities

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Naseebullah Khan
In the presence of fine soil, suitable environment, and ample area; Balochistan alone can revolutionize the country’s agricultural economy, provided that holistic strategies are formulated. The province is home to strong winds and heavy floods causing ample soil erosion. In district Quetta, 65 pc of productive land is comprised of Silly soil. Whereas, the cultivated area in the province is 66 pc. Moreover, forests have covered only 1.5 pc of area, which is far from the international standard. According to the Ministry of Environment, 15000 hectares in the province are affected due to waterlogging and erosion. In addition, 9255000 hectares in the province are rangeland, whilst at present, only 822000 hectares is agricultural land. On the flip side, the Pakistan agriculture council researches that the province is home to immense natural resources of Soil, having contents of Phosphorous, Zinc, and Copper, and very fine sand throughout the province. The provincial agricultural sector has the potential to turn the table of the province as well as the country economically. Challenges such as salinity, soil erosion, waterlogging, deforestation, Soil degradation, structural degradation and low contents of organic matter, rugged topography, intense rigidity, limited irrigation facility, over-cropping which has resulted in a deficiency in macro and micronutrients in soil, non-availability of good quality seeds, use of poultry waste without testing and research, dearth of water, the conventional method of irrigation and lack of new technological methods, paucity of saline water testing, depletion of soil fertility, high Ph. level, and scarcity of budgetary allocation have been huge stumbling blocks. Halting salinization, boosting Soil productivity, adopting systematic grazing, enhancing soil fertility, construction of daily action dams, reforestation, creation of awareness among formers, surveying the soil and testing water throughout the province by experts, adoption of conventional tillage is good for crops production, zero tillage, chisel plague (They can help decrease soil erosion along with runoff), finding out new pathways of soil organic carbon, and cultivating the barren land can increase yield manifolds. Will the priorities of provincial and federal governments ever change? Will the policymakers pay heed to the sector which is the jugular vein of the economy along with the bread and butter of the two-third of the population? Saneness must prevail.