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Jute can be effectively used for conversion and reclamation of lateritic wastelands of our country to make them arable. It is a widely grown natural biodegradable, eco-friendly and cost-effective fibre. Jute contains useful chemical substances like lignin, hemi-cellulose, alpha-cellulose and other cellulose derivatives, which make significant contribution to pest-resistant and water retention properties of soil. They help to regulate the Carbon and Nitrogen cycle in the soil and also attract bacterial agglomeration.
We, on behalf of a voluntary organisation, carried out an experimental work at a lateritic wasteland at Garhbeta of Paschim Medinipur District of West Bengal to check soil erosion and improve fertility of land using jute geotextile. The soil has very low carbon and nitrogen content and is acidic in nature having no or very poor vegetation growth. After the experiment the land erosion has been completely restricted and due to bio-degradation of jute, the nitrogen and carbon content of the soil have increased considerably. The denuded wasteland has now become fertile and arable. The soil is gradually attaining the character of a ‘medium soil’ from a ‘very poor’ soil. The method is easily adoptable, cost-effective and eco-friendly as it uses only jute as the component for conversion of the land.
This paper has tried to correlate the unique bio-chemical properties of jute with the agricultural and geological findings of the field-trial.
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