Laterite Soils

Laterite and laterite soil are the weathering products of rock in which several course of weathering and mineral transformations take place. This involves removal of bases and substantial loss of combined silica of primary minerals. In laterite and laterite soils, over acidic rocks, induration and zonation are more pronounced. This induration is greater if the iron content is higher. These soils mainly occur in the midlands and part of lowlands at an elevation of 10 to 100m above MSL as a strip between the coastal belt and hilly midupland. The area comprises of mounds and low hills with gentle to steep slopes. Laterite soils are generally suitable for most of the dryland crops. It is mainly cultivated with coconut, arecanut, banana, tapioca, vegetables, yams, pepper, pineapple, fruit trees etc. The percentage of gravel content in the soil and reduced soil depth limits the choice of crops. In laterite outcropped area with shallow soils, only cashew can be grown with vegetables.