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40 (Roll No.)
Different types of soil in India and
their specific crops
Types of soil
It is the most important type of soil found in India covering about
40 per cent of the total land area. It is very fertile and
contributes the largest share of agricultural wealth. This soil
supports nearly half of the Indian population.
The alluvial soil is found mostly in the Northern Plains, starting
from Punjab in the west to West Bengal and Assam in the east.
It is also found in the deltas of the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna
and Kaveri rivers in the Peninsular India. The northern parts and
the coastal areas of Gujarat also have some deposits of alluvial
Many rivers originate from the Himalayan Mountains and bring a
large amount of sediment with them. It is deposited in the river
valleys and the flood plains. Thus, the parent material of the
alluvial soils is always of transported origin.
The fine particles of sand, silt and clay are called alluvium. The
alluvial soil can be divided into old alluvium, also called
The black soil is locally called regur, a word derived from Telugu
word ‘reguda’. It is also called the Black Cotton Soil, as cotton is
the most important crop grown in this soil.
The black soil is mostly found in the Deccan Trap, covering large
areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat and western Madhya Pradesh. It is
also found in some parts of Godavari and Krishna river
valleys, covering parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
The black soil has been formed thousands of years ago, due to
the solidification of volcanic lava.
This soil is made up of extremely fine clayey material.
The black soil is well-known for its capacity to hold moisture.
This soil is rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium
carbonate, potash and lime, but poor in phosphoric content.
During the rainy season, black soil becomes sticky and is
The red soil occupies about 10 per cent area of
India, mostly in the south-eastern part of the Peninsular
India. This area encircles the entire black soil region. The
red soil is found in Tamil Nadu, parts of
Karnataka, southeast Maharashtra, eastern parts of
Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and
Most of the red soil has been formed due to weathering of
igneous and metamorphic rocks.
The red colour is due to the high percentage of iron
The texture of the red soil varies from sandy to clayey, and
the majority being loamy.
On the uplands, the red soil is thin, poor, and porous and
has loose gravel.
In the lower areas, the soil is deep, rich, fine grained and
The word ‘laterite’ has been derived from a Latin word
meaning ‘brick’. The laterite soil is widely spread in
India and is mainly found on the summits of the
Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Rajmahal
Hills, Vindhyas, Satpuras and Malwa plateau. It is well-
developed in southern Maharashtra, and parts of
Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Assam and Meghalaya.
The laterite soil is formed under conditions of high
temperature and heavy rainfall with alternate wet and
Such climatic conditions promote leaching of soil.
Leaching is a process in which heavy rains wash away
the fertile part of the soil.
The laterite soil is red in colour and composed of little
Also provides valuable
The mountain soil is generally found on the hill slopes
covered with forests. In the Himalayan region such soil
is mainly found in the valley basins, the depressions
and the lesser steep slopes. The north-facing slopes
generally support soil cover. Apart from the Himalayan
region, this soil is also found in the Western and
Eastern Ghats and in some parts of the Peninsular
i. The mountain soil is formed mainly due to the
deposition of organic matter provided by the forests.
ii. This soil is rich in humus, but poor in
potash, phosphorus and lime.
iii. It is heterogeneous in nature and varies from place
Tropical fruits in
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
The desert soil is found mostly in the arid and semi-arid
regions, receiving less than 50 cm of annual rainfall.
Such regions are mostly found in Rajasthan and the
adjoining areas of Haryana and Punjab. The Rann of
Kachchh in Gujarat is an extension of this region.
i. The sand in the desert areas is partly of local origin
and partly being blown in from the Indus Valley.
ii. It includes even the wind-blown loess.
iii. The desert soil has sand (90 to 95 per cent) and
clay (5 to 10 per cent).
iv. In some regions this soil has high percentage of
soluble salts, but lacks in organic matter.
v. The nitrogen content is low, but the phosphate
content is as high as in normal alluvial soil.