Moisture conservation enhances soil organic carbon by increasing period of vegetative cover, vegetative input to the soils and microbial population. This altogether leads to increase water stable aggregates that offer protection mechanism for longer residence time to soil organic carbon. In situ moisture conservation including inter row water harvesting, field bunding, mulching, deep ploughing and other agronomic practices such as drought tolerant cultivars, optimum plant density, and proper sowing time, balance fertilization, use of sprinklers and drips for irrigation on the undulated topography may have beneficial effect on soil organic carbon build up. Integrated and balanced use of nutrient and adoption of conservation agriculture also helps in soil carbon sequestration. Gene mining for drought avoidance is another aspect which helps in soil carbon sequestration. There are several species which have very extensive root system for mining water from large volume of soils and can survive very low water, such as Prosopis Juliflora surviving in the rainfall zone ranging from of 200 mm in Bhuj to 1000 mm around Ramnathpuram of east coast. Genetically modified plants can manage a biotic stress of droughts, salinity, heat and cold waves and such attempts may be beneficial for averting the impact of fallowing on soil organic carbon depletion. Finally, adoption of agroforestry system of land use combining agriculture, forestry, horticulture, livestock management and agrostology increases total productivity of food, feed and fuel and thereby reducing the risk of farming besides improving soil carbon sequestration. Further, region-specific amalgamated technological prescriptions refined with targeted policy analysis are required for effective implementation and obtaining positive outcomes within a finite time horizon.
With warm regards,