Land use pattern
Out of the total geographical area of 2.72 lakh ha, 41.03 % area is cultivable, 27.23 % is under forest. At present, out of the total cultivable area 89.61 % is under cultivation and remaining portion is cultivable waste land and current fellow that can also be brought under cultivation. Area under pasture is meager and marginally productive due to prevailing system of open grazing that has been continuing since long time without any replenishment of soil nutrient. This area needs special attention both by the farming community and government agencies.
Operational Land Holding:
Total numbers of operational land holder in the district is 1, 06,067, out of which very large holder are 1.18%,large 3.60%, medium 7.24% , small 34.83% ,marginal 36.45% and landless 16.70 %. The large holders occupying 5.10% of the cultivable area of the district , whereas large category is holding 11.14%, medium category holding 15.82% , small category holding 42.80%, marginal category holding 21.65% and landless category 3.48% of the cultivable area of the district. On the basis of size of land holdings resource rich families are 12.05% possessing 31.06% of cultivable area, whereas resource poor families are 87.95% possessing 67.94% of the cultivable area. Since nearly 88% of farm families are resource poor and are not in a position to adopt expensive technology, this section can be mobilized for low cost and also non land based activities.
The soil of the district can broadly be classified into three belts viz. Foothills of the Himalayas, Central belt of old alluvium and Low lying Reverine Belt. The foot hill soil are alluvial laterite red soils washed down from hilly slope that are suitable for growing horticultural crops specially fruits. Soils of central belt of old alluvium are sandy loam and silty clay in texture and acidic in reaction and is suitable for paddy cultivation. The low lying reverine belt by the side of the river Brahmaputra is formed by the deposit carried on by the river and its tributaries during flood to form alluvial fertile soil. The texture of the soil in this belt is sandy or loamy sand in nature with reaction of neutral to slightly acidic. Different Rabi crops like pulses oilseeds, vegetable and spices like garlic are grown in this belt. Out of the total cultivable area of the district alluvial and sandy loam soils constitute 48.5% and 41.1% respectively. Sandy soil constitutes 8.6%of the cultivable area.
Soil Fertility Status:
Normally pH of most part of the soil in the district ranges in between 5.6 to 6.6. In very few cases it ranges 4.5 to 5.5. Around 15160 Ha of land (9.2% of cultivable area) is affected by iron toxicity. Toxicity varies in between 1.7 % (Behali block) to 26.5% (Rangapara Block). A total of 2.5 % of the cultivable area is deficient in micronutrients viz. Boron, Zinc and Sulphur. Soils of all the blocks except Rangapara, Naduar , has high nitrogen content ;medium in Potash (except Sootea block ) and low in Phosphorous (except Borchala , Rangapara and Sootea block ). Soils in most of the blocks is low in phosphorus and medium in potash content.
Rain fed and irrigated area:
Presently only 24 % of cultivable area is irrigated and the main source of irrigation is shallow tube wells (STW) and low lift pump (LLP) that contributes 11 % to total irrigated area . Farmers in two development blocks of the district Borchala and Bihaguri have been deprived of the main source of irrigation facility that is STW due to non clearance on Arsenic content of ground water by the concerned authority.
Flood affected area:
Generally the district experiences two to three waves of floods in between May to September. At present 2117 ha viz. 1.9% of cultivable area is chronically flood affected area .It is observed that three blocks viz. Dhekiajuli, Borchala and Gabharu are affected severely, while remaining blocks remain either unaffected or negligibly affected by flood.