Soil Pollution: A risk for Agricultural productivity
- Maqsood Khan, M. Waseem Abbas, Tahir Jamil, Humayun Ahmed and Nazer Manzoor
Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040, Pakistan.
It is a process that causes spoilage of soil by human and natural resource that affect the living organism. The four main components of soil are organic mineral matter 45%, inorganic matter 5%, water 25% and air 25%. The main sources of soil pollution are industrial waste, urban waste, radioactive pollutant, biological agents and agricultural practices. They contribute much more in the soil pollution. They not only cause pollution but also reduce the yield of a particular crop to a much higher level. Soils become contaminated and soil degradation is also the problem of soil pollution. Industrial disposal are the major problems of soil pollution. Industrial waste are discharge from various mills and factories directly into the irrigation system that water is apply to the crop and soil become contaminated through higher concentration of harmful chemicals which deposit in the soil.
Modern agriculture practices make the soil pollute to large extent. With the intensive use of fertilizer, pesticides and weedicides in order to increase per acre yield. Their concentration increase day by day that are the cause of soil problem. The soil becomes toxic through these harmful chemicals. Similarly biological agent like human and animal excreta with harmful chemicals in higher concentration leads to soil pollution. Accidental oil spills sometime oil is leak during storage and transport that enter in soil profile and cause damage to the soil and soil become unfit for agriculture production. Acid rain is also the cause of soil problem. The rain water dissolves many essential nutrients from the soil and soil became polluted.
Effects of soil pollution
Soil pollution has many effects on both human life and plant life. Plant grow on polluted soil absorbs harmful chemicals from the soil. These chemicals pass on us in the form of food and causes serious diseases. Soil pollution changes the genetic makeup of living organism and cause health problems that are not treated simply. They also cause diseases and food toxicity in livestock. When plants are unable to grow then soil pollution causes famines. The ecological balance of plant is affected due to soil pollution. When soil structure changes many plants cannot attain it. Soil contains fungi and bacteria that held soil particle decrease and cause soil erosion. The fertility of soil depleted and soil become unfit for agriculture production. The harmful chemical present in the soil increase toxicity so soil fertility decreases and yield of soil is also decrease. The polluted soil produces fruits and vegetable which lack quality of essential nutrient and contain some poisonous substances which cause serious health problem. The exit of certain harmful gases from soil pollutes the atmosphere and cause physical problem in living organisms. The bad smell is injurious to health of people. The earth organism die due to soil pollution and soil structure become alter. Due to soil pollution predator get food from other sources. Structural changes in soil lead to decrease the microbe activity and also crop production.
Measures to control the soil pollution
Many control measures are used to control the soil pollution. Soil erosion is to be minimized through growing trees and cultural practices. Grow the crops across the slope (contouring) and rows at minimum distance. Adopt traditional farming to control the erosion. Carefully cover the undesired material. Sufficient material of living things should be damp in open damping techniques. Handling of solid waste should be done by using tipping. The empty place achieved through this handling of waste is used for sports and housing. Synthesis of organic fertilizer pesticide should be replaced with bio-pesticide. Organic fertilizer should be done in place of chemical fertilizer. Composting and green manuring should be done. Provide proper hygienic conditions to the people by training about sanitary habits. For the guidance of people effective extension system should be adopted. Formal and informal both types of education should be given to people through an organized program of extension system. Waste products like papers; glass and petroleum product should be recycled first and then reused with proper care. Use of harmful chemicals should be restricted like DDT; BHC etc. which proved toxic for animal and plants .In some cases even cause death of both plant and animals.