Greening of Ravines: A Strategy for Viable Production and Mitigation to Climate Change
Since formation of ravines is a function of uncontrolled runoff, the management of rainwater on watershed basis is the only strategy for the control and reclamation of ravines. Deep ravines pose the problems of inaccessibility, very steep slope of ravine banks, strong water flow lines, and high permeability of soil making limited land shaping unavoidable. After necessary land shaping in world infamous Chambal ravines covering an area of 304,300 ha in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh states of India, strategy for viable production and mitigation of climate change was framed, and accordingly five different modules of plantation were tried, namely diversified cropping, agri-horticultural, horti-pastoral, silvi-medicinal, and silvopastoral, using land according to its suitability. The greatest carbon was produced under diversified cropping system followed by horti-pastoral, agri-horticultural, silvi-medicinal, and silvopastoral system during the first year, whereas maximum carbon production with agri-horticulture is followed by horti-pastoral, diversified cropping system, silvi-medicinal, and silvopastoral system from second year onward. Similarly, under crops’ higher yield and carbon production with 150% of recommended dose of fertilizers were obtained. The highest carbon production among crops and plants was with Moringa oleifera followed by Dalbergia sissoo and pearl millet followed by maize, respectively. The land and water management works must be planned for entire watershed starting from the ridge and including tableland. While technology for shallow and medium ravines has been worked out, afforestation of deep ravines is recommended.
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