Types of Soil in Pakistan – Soil Classification & Characteristics

The physiography of Pakistan is very unique and has diverse landscape in all over the country, with very distinctly climate in the whole country. Due to these reasons, the physiography of Pakistan is divided according to soil classification.

The type of soil formed is a function of topography, climate, vegetation, and the parentrocks from which the soil material is derived.

Soil texture varies with the size of the soil particles. Coarse textured soils are sandy, fine textured soils are clayey, and a mixture of sand and clay is called loam. Soils of high organic content are darker in color, and have more nutrients for plant growth than those of low organic content. Since most of Pakistan is arid or semi-arid, the soils contain little organic matter.

soil in pakistan

Soil-forming processes are complex and continuous. As a result, soils vary in their chemical composition, color, texture, and organic content from place to place. The discussion describes only the major Ecological zones of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Ecological Zones

Pakistan has divided in Major Nine Ecological Zones

1: Northern Mountains Regions

2: Western Mountains Regions

3: Potwar Plateau

4: Sandy Deserts

5: Piedmont Plains

6: Old River Terraces

7: Sub-Recent River Plains

8: Recent River Plains

9: Indus Delta

Sr.No Name of Zone  Geographical Coverage Soil Types Major Crops
1.

 

Indus delta

 

Thatta, Badin

 

Clayey and Silty

 

Rice, Pulses, Sugarcane, Berseem, Banana

 

2.

 

Southern Irrigated Plains

 

Hyderabad, Sanghar, Dadu, Khairpur, Larkana, Sukkur, R.Y. Khan, Shikarpur, Jacobabad

 

Calcareous, Loamy, Silty, Clayey and Sandy

 

Cotton, Wheat, Rice, Sugarcane, Mustard, Sorghum, Berseem

 

3.

 

Sandy Desert (a)

 

Tharparkar, Nawabshah, Bahawalpur, NoderoFeroz, Mirpur Khas, Cholistan

 

Sandy, Clayey and Loamy

 

Guar, Millet, Wheat, Castor

 

4.

 

Sandy Desert (b)

 

Muzaffaragarh, Layyah, Sargodha, Khushab

 

Calcareous, Sandy, Loamy

 

Gram,Wheat, Cotton, Guar, Sugarcane, Millet

 

5.

 

Northern Irrigated Plains (a)

 

Bahawalnagar, Multan, Khanewal,, Lodhran, Vehari, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Okara, Lahore, Kasure, T.T.Singh, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sheikhpura, Gujranwala, Hafizabad

 

Sandy, Clayey, Calcareous, Silt-loam

 

Wheat, Cotton, Millet, Sugarcane, Maize, Berseem, Citrus, Mango, Melons, Oil seeds

 

6.

 

Northern Irrigated Plains(b)

 

Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi

 

Clayey, Moderately Calcareous

 

Sugarcane, Maize, Gram, Tobacco, Wheat, Millet, Berseem, Groundnut, Sugar beet, Pears, Plum

 

7.

 

Barani Lands

 

Bannu, Mianwali, Attock, Rawalpindi, Jehlum, Gujrat, Sialkot, Mandi Baha-ud-din, Lakki Marwat, Islamabad, Bhakkar, Chakwal, Narowal

 

Silt loam, Silty clay loam, Clay loam

 

Wheat, Millet, Maize, Rice, Oil seeds, Pulses, Fodder crops

 

8.

 

Wet Mountains

 

Abbottabad, Hazara, Mansehra, Kohistan, Haripur, Battagram

 

Silt loam, Silty clays

 

Maize, Rice, Wheat, Apples

 

9.

 

Northern Dry Mountains

 

Chitral, Dir (Lower and  Upper), Swat, Malakand, FATA, Bunair

 

Clayey, non-Calcareous and acidic (above 2100 altitude) Calcareous at lower altitude

 

Maize, Wheat, Rice

 

10.

 

Western Dry Mountains

 

Kohat, Karak, Tank, Zhob, Loralai,Kalat, Sibbi, Quetta, Kachhi, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Nasirabad, Kohlu, Bolan, Tambo, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Musa khail, Burkhan, Ziarat, Kila Saifullah, DeraBugti, Mastung

 

Calcareous loamy

 

Wheat, Maize, Apples, Peaches, Plums, Apricots, Grapes

 

11.

 

Dry Western Plateau

 

Kharan, Awaran, Chagai, Lasbella, Karachi, Mekran, Turbat, Khuzdar, Gwadar, Panjgor

 

Strongly Calcareous, Silt loams

 

Wheat, Sorghum, Millet, Melons

 

12.

 

Sulaiman Piedmont

 

D.I. Khan, D.G.Khan, Rajanpur

 

Loamy, Clayey, Strongly Calcareous

 

Wheat, Sorghum, Millet, Gram, Mustard, Rice

 

The Role of Soil Classification in Agriculture Development

The soil classify for getting better result from Pakistan’s agriculture and soil classification identify the soil category of area features, climatic conditions and types of soil and after classification divided the areas according to soil categories. Every kind of crop, vegetation, trees and forests depend up the soil Material.  These are cultivated according to the present soil Material for getting better output of any kind of crops.

Benefits of Soil Classification as All these information can help in progress of agriculture departments

  • In soil classification, we collect data on all soil properties and its help in soil Management and its use for specific purposes.
  • We can determine the nutrient requirements for crops with the help of soil properties.
  • Soil classifications provide information about a soil resources and its use for Pakistani agricultural planning and development.
  • Through soil classification, we can get detail about a huge area, which is suitable for agriculture or for industries.
  • Soil classifications provide information about the sandy Mountainous areas of Pakistan, that these are not suitable for agriculture on national level.
  • Changa Manga forest is totally depends upon the soil, because soil of that area is favourable for forest. Changa Manga forest plays a vital role in the Agriculture contribution to GDP of Pakistan.
  • Government can determine the ways of progress in agriculture through soil classification in agriculture, if they use right place for the agriculture.
  • A place is not suitable of every kind of agriculture, because different places have different types of soil. By using the soil classification, we can determine the exit place for exit crop.
  • Planning for soil and water resources can be determined by the soil classification.

The former can maintain the required level of soil and can improve the yield of their crops, if they use their land according to soil classification.

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