Land degradation is the reduction of the biological or economic productivity of cropland, pasture, forest, and woodlands of which soil degradation is the major contributor. The present study was undertaken to understand the type and degree of major type of soil degradation, viz soil erosion and acidity in Kerala and to study the socio-economic impact of the flood on individual households in Idukki district during 2018. Random sampling was undertaken with a total sample of 180 households from different occupational background for the case study. Various studies conducted in pre-flood period revealed that in Kerala, 94.7 % of the total geographical area were acidic and 71.28 % were eroded, whereas in Idukki 96.3 % of the total geographical area is acidic and 80 % were eroded. United Nations post-disaster need assessment report has estimated a total economic loss of Rs.31,000 crores in Kerala due to flood. Agricultural sector (Rs 3646 crores), fisheries (Rs 93.72 crores), forestry (Rs 9.55 crores), infrastructure, power, housing and tourism sector (Rs 2000 crores) also suffered economic losses post-flood in Kerala. The case study in Idukki district revealed that average damage cost of individuals due to flood with different occupational status was Rs.13.36 lakhs with relative damage cost of 364 %. As farmers are reluctant to undertake soil conservation activities due to high labour costs and capital-intensive plantation crops, public investment has to be strengthened conservation of natural resources of flood-affected areas of Kerala.
Damage cost, Floods, Socio-Economic impacts, Soil degradation
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