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Discuss the Soil problems in Africa


Discuss the Soil problems in Africa



Soil is the foundation of Africa’s economic life, and as such its detailed study is most important. Failure to appreciate the physical and chemical properties of the soils has led to disastrous results for several projects for agricultural improvement.
In studying the soils of Africa, it is essential not to lose sight of the importance of such social factors as the ability or inability of mostly uneducated farmers to judge the quality of the soil. Thus, schemes for transforming traditional systems of farming that are based on soil classification but that do not take into account local perception may have little chance of success.
For desert soils to be productive they must be irrigated, as they are on the desert margins of North Africa; their excessive salinity or alkalinity must also be reduced. Compared to desert soils, the chestnut-brown soils are easier to work and are more productive under irrigation. Black soils tend to have a markedly crumbly structure and are sometimes difficult to plow. In the wet season, the black soils of the Accra Plains swell and become slippery, while in the dry season they shrink once more and crack to such an extent that they are said to plow themselves. Red tropical soils need careful handling.
Despite their luxuriant vegetation cover, high temperatures coupled with humidity promote the rapid decay of organic matter and keep the humus content low. Erosion is a constant threat if the soils are exposed to the elements for any length of time; the soils remain cultivable only if the sesquioxides remain below the surface.
In the Atlas and Cape regions, there is a clearer relationship between soil characteristics and parent material than in the humid tropical areas. Over expanses of limestone, for example, the soils contain large amounts of calcium compounds, some of which must be washed away or neutralized before the soils can become fully productive.
francis1897 answered the question on January 11, 2023 at 13:56

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