The soils in the district can generally be classified into three groups, viz., black or kali, red or tambat, and laterite and the gray of inferior quality locally known as barad including white or pandhari. Of these, barad soils are very poor in fertility. The plains in Kopargaon and Shrirampur talukas have comparatively a good depth of soil. Near the Pravara and Godavari rivers white tracts of deep rich lands are found. Two specially barren tracts may be noticed, one on the borders of Karjat and Shrigonda and the other north of a line drawn east to west through Takli-Dhakeshvar, ten miles north of Parner, and as far north as the slopes down to the Mula. The second waste is of great extent and is mostly un-arable being little better than bare basalt, unfit for anything except sheep-grazing. Near the range of the hills that runs south-east down the centre of the Shrigonda and Karjat sub-divisions, the land is very poor with occasional patches of good light soil near Karjat, Koregaon and other places. In the hilly areas to the west of Akola, red soil, deeper on the slopes than on the levels, is found. Thus a major area of the district comes under scarcity zone. The types of soil of this zone are given in the following statement:—

Main category of soil

Type of soil


High level shallow soils


low lime shallow, reddish brown, loams


moderate lime, brown to dark brown clay loams


low lime, brown, loams

Intermediate medium deep soils


black clay loams with reddish tinge


calcareous brown clay loams with lime band below

Low level deep soils


low lying high lime, deep brown-black clays.


eroded phase.


low lying deep, black compact clays

Besides, the soils in the district can be divided into following agro-climatic zones encountered from east to west:—

Ghat zone: This zone covers hilly terrain including Sahyadri hill tops and the western sloping hilly land with variable altitude between 500 and 1,500 metres. The main soil types found in this region are high level, red to reddish brown lateritic soils and light brown to dark brown shallow gravelly loams.

High rainfall zone with non-lateritic soils: This zone includes the narrow strip of land west to the ghat zone and receives rainfall of 2,000 to 3,000 mm. The major soil group, viz., non-lateritic red to reddish brown loams includes two types of soils—high level, red to reddish brown, shallow light textured soils and brown to dark brown, medium deep loams to clay loams locally known as manat.

Transition Zone I: Area on the western side of the high rainfall zone with non-lateritic soils comes under this zone. This zone receives rainfall of about 1,250 mm. to 2,500 mm. The soil group consists of soils of red to reddish brown colour with varied depth and texture.

Transition Zone II: Western part of Akola taluka and the limited area from south-east portion of Sangamner taluka is covered by this zone. This part of the district receives rainfall of about 700 mm. to 1,250 mm. The major soil group of this zone is brown to dark brown of varying depths and comprises three types of soils, viz., high level, low lime, shallow, reddish brown loams; intermediate, medium deep brown black clay loams; and low level, deep low lime, brown black clays.