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Soil quality degradation is a major threat to any agricultural production system. Therefore periodical monitoring of soil quality status is inevitable for sustainable management of agricultural production systems. Though there are various methods available to assess the soil quality, simple and management oriented methods are necessary. The current investigation aimed to evaluate soil quality of tribal areas of central India adopting minimum dataset of 15 soil physical, chemical and biological parameters. A novel scoring technique was followed to score soil quality indicators based on its relation with crop yield, degree of variation and percent deficiency. Relative soil quality index (RSQI) was calculated and was correlated with crop productivity. Most of the soils in the region had poor soil quality (77.2% in Jhabua, 85.4% in Alirajpur and 67.2% in Dhar) with low crop yield. The major constraints of crop production in these areas were low soil organic carbon (<0.5%), available N (<280 kg ha-1), S (<10 mg kg-1), P (<10 kg ha-1), Zn (<0.5 mg kg-1), dehydogenase activity (10 ?g TPF g-1 24 h-1) and soil depth (<1 m). Adopting sustainable management practices could improve soil quality and crop productivity. This new approach is simple and systematic; this principle can be easily adoptable to other locations, and principally focuses on management related and soil parameters that constraint to production and ecological functions.


Minimum Data Set (MDS) Relative Yield (RY) Soil Quality Assessment Soil Quality Index (SQI) Sustainable Soil Management Tribal Area

Article Details

Author Biographies

Mohan Lal Dotaniya, Division of Environmental Soil Science

Scientist, Division of Environmental Soil Science, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

M Vassanda Coumar, Division of Environmental Soil Science

Scientist, Division of Environment Soil Science, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

Samaresh Kundu, Division of Environmental Soil Science

Division of Environmental Soil Science, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

Nishant Kumar Sinha, Division of Soil Physics

Scientist, Division of Soil Physics, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

A.K. Tripathi, Division of Soil Biology

Principal Scientist, Division of Soil Biology, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

Sanjay Srivastava, Division of Soil Chemistry and Fertility

Principal Scientist, Division of Soil Chemistry and Fertility, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

J.K. Saha

Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Environmental Soil Science, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

A.K. Patra, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), India

Director, ICAR-IISS, Bhopal

How to Cite
Selladurai, R. S., Dotaniya, M. L. ., Vassanda Coumar, M., Kundu, S., Sinha, N. K., Tripathi, A., Srivastava, S., Saha, J., & Patra, A. . (2021). A novel soil quality assessment method for sustainable soil management and enhancing crop productivity in tribal areas of central India. Environment Conservation Journal, 22(3), 315–325.


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