The Soils of Nepal - Soil Properties
Shree Prasad Vista
Krishna Bahadur Karki
Yam Kanta Gaihre
Bandhu Raj Baral
Nepalese soils are developed dominantly from micaceous parent materials such as phyllites, schists, gneisses, and granites; thus, most of the soil contains a higher proportion of mica. Nepalese soils are mostly friable in hills and mountains because of the continuous use of organic inputs such as farmyard manure and compost, while soils are hard and compacted in the Terai region because of the continuous use of machinery and less use of organic inputs. Soils in hills exhibit higher soil plasticity but the intensity of soil plasticity decreases in lower belts where erosion deposits prevail and most of the soils are sandy in nature. The soils of Nepal also show wide variability in chemical properties, and thereby respond differently to the same crop across ecological zones and soil types. In general, the soils of Nepal are acidic in nature. About 53% of soils are in the acidic range, while 33% are neutral, and 13% are in the alkaline range. In general, soils in hills and mountains are richer in major plant nutrients and organic matter than soils in the Terai region. However, the content of micronutrients such as zinc, boron, and molybdenum are low. Overall, soil nutrients are being mined throughout the nation, with the fastest decline in eastern areas and in the Terai region. Soil erosion, imbalanced use of fertilizers, low or no use of organic inputs, and adoption of intensive cropping systems are some of the major causes for the decline in soil nutrients.
Soil fertility, Organic matter, Biofertilizers, Soil acidity