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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 4369
ANSWERED ON:  29.03.2022
Survey on Soil Erosion
Rajeshbhai Naranbhai Chudasama
Will the Minister of



AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government has periodically conducted any scientific survey/study to identify the extent and nature of soil erosion and land degradation across the country;
(b) if so, the findings thereof;
(c) the details of the cultivable area affected by soil erosion in the country during the last three years and the current year, State-wise and year-wise;
(d) whether the Government has chalked out any programme for reclamation and development of such land in the country; and
(e) if so, the details thereof along with the success achieved thereunder during the said period?


ANSWER

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
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(a) to (c): There is no periodical conduct of scientific survey / study specifically to identify the extent and nature of soil erosion and land degradation across the country. However, assessment has been made by different agencies/organizations using different methodologies/criteria from time to time. Details of assessments made are placed at Annexure-I. As per NAAS (2010), the extent of soil Erosion (soil loss more than 10 tonnes/ha/yr) in cultivable land of the country was 92.4 million hectares as assessed by the ICAR using the harmonized database. The State-wise details are given in Annexure-II.
(d) & (e): The Government under Reclamation of Problem Soils (RPS), a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), is providing assistance for reclamation of lands affected by alkalinity, salinity and acidity. During 2016-17 to 2020-21, an amount of Rs. 58.76 crore (central shares) was released to the States and an area of 0.24 lakh ha has been developed.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has developed location specific bio-engineering soil & water conservation measures, watershed management interventions, soil reclamation measures for saline, alkali, waterlogged and acid soils, selection of suitable crops including agro-forestry interventions to prevent and manage land degradation.
The Department of Land Resources has sanctioned 8214 watershed development projects during 2009-10 to 2014-15 in 28 states (now 27 states and UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh) under the erstwhile Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP). IWMP was amalgamated as the Watershed Development Component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (WDC-PMKSY) in 2015-16 for development of rainfed/ degraded Lands. During 2014-15 to 2021-22 (up to Q3), about 7.60 lakh water harvesting structures have been created/ rejuvenated, bringing additional area of 16.27 lakh ha under protective irrigation and benefitting 35.62 lakh farmers. The Government of India has also sanctioned financial outlay of Rs. 8,134 crore with a physical target of 49.50 lakh ha under ‘WDC-PMKSY-2.0’ for the period of 2021-2026. As on 20.03.2022, 1099 projects have been sanctioned to States/UTs covering an area of 49.21 lakh hectares.
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