Reclamation of Ravine Lands for Higher Production

  • M. L. Soni
  • V. Subbulakshmi
  • P. S. Renjith
  • J. C. Dagar
  • N. D. Yadava


Ravine lands are spread over an area of about 4.3 million hectare in India, but their largest incidence (about 72%) is found along the rivers Yamuna, Chambal, Mahi, and Sabarmati and their tributaries in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat states. These are the worst form of land degradation and formed when the vegetal cover is not strong enough to hold and bind the soil together from being carried away by the flowing rainwater. Loss of land due to soil erosion and uncertain crop yield from eroded soil increases the risk to sustain the livelihood of inhabitants of ravine-affected area. According to an estimate, India loses about 3 million tons of food grain due to the formation of ravine lands. These losses can be minimised through adoption of scientific techniques to reclaim and check their further extension. For rehabilitation and controlling the further extension of these lands, integration of soil-water conservation measures with suitable agroforestry systems using fruit trees/shrubs, forage grasses and energy plantations seems viable option. Many species of fruit trees, shrubs, grasses, energy plantations and medicinal use have been identified for their environmental suitability in ravine lands. Using appropriate engineering technology and selecting appropriate species, these lands can improve the livelihood of local inhabitants through production of fodder for animals, fuelwood for energy requirement and food crops and fruits for human consumption. Tree-based technologies have additional environmental benefits. Growing trees with annual crops or pasture grasses help in retaining soil moisture by reducing runof f and simultaneously reduce nutrient leaching losses through root and mycorrhizal systems, regulate biodiversity, improve soil quality and sequester huge amounts of carbon in their biomass. This chapter describes the formation of ravine lands, the ways to reclaim and sustain them through integrated approach of soil-water conservation technologies and agroforestry systems with the emphasis to improve the economic condition and livelihood of the farmers, conserve natural resources and provide ecosystem services under climate change scenario.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Soni
    • 1
  • V. Subbulakshmi
    • 1
  • P. S. Renjith
    • 1
  • J. C. Dagar
    • 2
  • N. D. Yadava
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Regional Research StationBikanerIndia
  2. 2.Indian Council of Agricultural SciencesPusaIndia

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