Post Flooding Soil Restoration in Pakistan
The recent floods in Pakistan have left serious effects on soil of Baluchistan Sindh, as well Southern KPK and Punjab. The most prominent of these effects is the destruction of productive lands by sand and debris deposits and the erosion of agriculture lands. These results in yield loss of cultivable land. Government needs to immediately plan post flooding soil recovery management to overcome these losses. This will include removing residue and debris barriers to crop production, repair physical damage to the soil, Stimulate microbial activity in the soil and limit indirect impacts on it like soils crusting. Experts in the science and management of soils have identified methods to revitalize soil health so farmers can repair their soils and return the devastated land to a reproductive state. Agriculture consultants and university extension staff provide information about these methods and assistance in implementing the steps to recovery. However, not all fields can be cultivated again and losses are often noteworthy.
To stimulate microbial activity in soil, farmers can introduce Arbuscular Mycorrhizar which are symbiotic fungi that grow on and in plant roots. The fungi penetrate roots without harming them. As a result, the fungi receive food—carbohydrates from the plant and the plant will receive
Nutrients primarily phosphorus from the fungi. Since no plants grow in these fields during prolonged flood events, the fungi are lost from the system. In order to re-establish the population of fungi, producers can plant cover crops. A “cover crop” provides good ground cover to protect the soil from erosion and can range from legumes (beans) to small grains. Cover crops add organic matter to soil while also stimulating microbial and fungal activity.