23. Fertility assessment of mountainous soils of District Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

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Zakir Hussain Majid Mahmood Tahir, Nasir Rahim, Abdul Khaliq Zakir Hussain Facho, Hassan Shafqat, Ishtiaq Hussain Aqila Shaheen


Land degradation is a serious problem in mountainous (Northern) areas of Pakistan. Improvement of soil fertility and productivity begins with the knowledge of existing fertility status. However there is little information regarding the current fertility status of soils of northern areas of Pakistan. Therefore, present study was conducted in three union councils of District Skardu to investigate soil fertility status. A total of 30 soil samples (0-15 cm depth) from 10 sites in each of three union councils of Skardu were collected. Soil samples were analyzed for pH, EC, organic matter, NO3-N, AB-DTPA extractable P, and K. Results revealed that the soils in the three union councils were slightly acidic to slightly alkaline with pH ranging from 6.29 to 7.80 with no salinity problem. The EC of the soils ranged between 0.52 to 0.62 dS m-1. The soils on an average contain adequate amount of soil organic matter ranging between 1.40 to 1.67%. Soil analysis showed that 70% of the soil samples were deficient in NO3-N, 80% soil samples were deficient in extractable P while 100% soil samples were deficient in K. On the basis of the results obtained it is clearly evident that serious efforts should be made for soil and plant nutrient management in the area.

Keywords: Deficiency; Fertility; Gilgit; Mountains; Nutrients; Skardu


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