At the PRAKRITI Farm we have adopted an integrated approach to soil conservation, by practicing various plantation models such as enrichment planting on the farm, plantation on degraded land, vegetative shrub barriers in trenches, silvipasture and bamboo plantations is taken up extensively. The plantation areas have been worked in advance for soil and water conservation measures through vegetative , mechanical and bio-engineering measures such as Baggar, Napier, Vetiver & Steria grass planting, Single line, double line vegetative spur planting all along the choe banks and slopes to prevent the stream bank erosion and choe widening, staggered and continuous trenches, terracing, mud dams and planting live hedges along choe bundhs. We have planted over 50 different species of Medicinal and Herbal plants and trees on the farm, all being irrigated by drip.
We use micro irrigation methods for our orchard and vegetable garden, drip and sprinkler system is put in place to conserve water. We have built many small mud bunds which harvest rain water during the monsoon season. Silt recovered from these bunds goes back into our vegetable garden and orchards.
The low Shivalik Hills demarcates the Himalayas from the plains. Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gudaspur districts falls in this zone (also known as the Kandi area) and runs like a wall from north-west to south-east, dividing the Himachal valleys of Sirsa and Una. Topographical changes due to the formation of Himalayas in the recent geographical past gave a basin-like structure to Punjab. The plain lands of Punjab lie between altitudes 180 meters and 300 meters above sea level. The gradient increases from west to east.
The most serious problems facing Shivalik region are the degradation due to choes and resulting erosion and siltation problems. Area covered by choes was 29,282 ha in 1952, 32622 ha in 1984, 37730 ha in1987 and about 60000 ha in 1990. After the floods of September 1998, about 50000 ha of farm lands were covered by sand deposits.
Land degradation is affected by several factors including rainfall, soil structure, slope, land use, faulty irrigation practices and deforestation. It can be in the form of physical, chemical or biological land degradation. It is estimated that more than 25% of land used for agriculture in Punjab is now damaged from salinization and water-logging. In addition, land is increasingly being used for urban and industrial developments as well as for transport infrastructure.