Prelims 2020

Q. What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture?

1.Sowing of wheat without burning the residue of previous crop.
2.Without the need for nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
3.Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Correct Answer : d) 1, 2 and 3

Question from UPSC Prelims 2020 GS Paper


Zero Tillage: A Sustainable Agricultural Practice

Zero tillage, also known as no-till farming, is an agricultural practice that promotes sustainable and profitable agriculture by minimizing soil disturbance. This method involves planting crops directly into the residue of previous crops without tilling the soil. Zero tillage is a key component of conservation agriculture, which aims to improve soil health, reduce erosion, and enhance the livelihoods of farmers.

Advantages of Zero Tillage

Zero tillage offers several advantages that contribute to sustainable farming practices:

  1. Sowing of wheat without burning the residue of the previous crop: Zero tillage allows for the direct planting of wheat seeds into the residue of previous crops, eliminating the need for burning. This not only saves time and labor but also helps retain soil moisture, reduce erosion, and improve soil health by preserving organic matter.
  2. Direct planting of paddy seeds in wet soil: Unlike traditional rice cultivation, zero tillage enables the direct seeding of paddy seeds into the field without the need for a nursery. This eliminates the labor-intensive process of transplanting saplings and can save water, reduce labor costs, and potentially increase yield.
  3. Carbon sequestration in the soil: Zero tillage practices contribute to carbon sequestration by increasing the amount of carbon stored in the soil. By avoiding soil disturbance, carbon is retained in the soil as organic matter instead of being released into the atmosphere as CO2. This process not only improves soil health and fertility but also helps mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations.
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