By : Kalyan Das
In floodplain areas around the world, farmers use the silt deposits that floods bring as a traditional way to upgrade soil quality. However, floods can also cause a sandy layer to be deposited, which can have long-term impacts on soil fertility. This problem is particularly significant in Dhemaji District in north-eastern Assam where sand deposition is making it difficult for many farmers to make a living. The average rice yield in the state of Assam between 1990-91 and 2009-10 was 1,433 kg per hectare. But, in the sand-deposited villages of Dhemaji District, the average yield is 315 kg of rice per hectare. Why is this the case and what are the costs borne by poor farmers as a result of sand deposits?
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