Soil Survey Unit (SSU)

This unit was started as a project with financial support from DANIDA in 1996 with financial support from DANIDA and will finally phase out by end of the 2006-2007 financial year (June 2007).

The main objective of the Soil Survey Unit is:
To ensure that the necessary soil information is made available to optimise the use of land suited for agriculture, horticulture, pastures or forestry.


To date, the unit has two Research Officers (1 MSc & 1 BSc), three soil surveyors (NRTI graduates) and one GIS operator.

SSU capabilities & Services

The Unit has the following capabilities to:
  • Carryout soil survey and land suitability/capability evaluation at various scales,
  • Carryout land degradation surveys and recommend mitigating measures,
  • Provide technical support on sustainable land management practices,
  • Building the Bhutan Soil Databank (BHUSOD) for storing & sharing the soil data, etc.

List of soil surveys completed as of Jan 2007

  • Detailed soil surveys completed; reports and maps issued
    1. RNR-RC, Yusipang (1:2500)
    2. RNR-RC, Bajo (1:2000)
    3. RNR-RC, Jakar (1:1600)
    4. RNR-RC, Khangma (1:2000)
    5. Royal Botanic Garden, Serbithang (1:2000)
    6. RNR-RC new site, Wyengkhar (1:1667& 1:1000)
    7. Darla RNR sub-centre, Gedu (1:2000)
    8. Bhur farm (RNR sub-centre), Gelephu (1:3500)
    9. Yusipang Demonstration Plot (1:1000)
    10. Lingmethang RNR Sub-centre, Monggar (1:3000)
    11. Nangkor RNR Sub-centre, P/gatshel (1:1000)
    12. Ramtokto Orchard, Thimphu (1 :1200)
  • Semi detailed soil surveys completed; reports and maps issued
    1. Radhi watershed (1:25000)
    2. Lingmutey Chhu watershed (1:25000)
    3. Lame Gompa, Jakar (1:16667)
    4. Nyakulumpa, Punakha (1:12500)
    5. Sangma Ri watershed, Drametse (1:25000)
    6. Wochu Watershed, Paro (1:25,000)
  • General reconnaissance soil surveys completed; reports issued
    1. Soils of Merak-Sakten (soil map not produced)
  • Semi-detailed soil survey fieldwork complete; reporting under progress
    1. Upper Puna Tsang Chhu, Punakha (1:25000) – reporting in hand
  • Land management (campaign) report
    1. Land management campaign at Tsakaling (Mongar) & Samcholing (Trongsa)
    2. Land degradation assessment at Balam, Mongar
    3. Land management campaign sites for 2007 in Zhemgang
  • Other technical documents & systems:
    1. Version 3 of Soil Survey Handbook for Bhutan issued and in use.
    2. Draft Land Suitability Evaluation System compiled and in use.
    3. Draft Land Capability Classification compiled and in use.
    4. Draft system for soil series for Bhutan compiled and in use.
    5. National soil databank of Bhutan (BHUSOD) established and in use.