Muhammad Basir-Cyio1, M. Isrun-Baso1, Koyomi Nakazawa2, T. Mahfudz-Muchtar1, Mery Napitupulu3, Alam Anshary1, Rustam Abd Rauf4 and Syamsuddin Laude1
1 Tadulako University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agrotechnology, Palu 94118, Indonesia
2 University of Shiga Prefecture, School of Environmental Sciences, Department of Ecosystem Studies, Hikone, Shiga 522-8533, Japan
3 Tadulako University, Faculty of Teacher Trainingand Education, Department of Chemistry Education, Palu 94118, Indonesia
4 Tadulako University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agribusiness, Palu 94118, Indonesia
Basir-Cyio, M., Isrun-Baso, M., Nakazawa, K., Mahfudz-Muchtar, T., Napitupulu, M., Anshary, A., Rauf, R.A., & Laude, S. (2020). The effect of traditional gold mining to land degradation, mercury contamination and decreasing of agricultural productivity. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 26 (3), 612–621
The destruction of natural resources and the environment has affected the level of agriculture productivity directly. The activities of illegal gold mining using Mercury cause the damage, both to agricultural and conservation areas such as Lore Lindu National Park, and it is a serious threat to the communities surrounding. This study aims to assess the degradation and productivity of cocoa, maize, and upland rice on the affected land. The type of this study is an analytical survey that used the purposive sampling technique of composite soil analyzed in the most severely damaged area. The variables are the physicochemical properties of the soil and land productivity. Data on land degradation and productivity of selected commodities were analyzed using a descriptive approach based on the criteria of the physicochemical properties of soil. The result shows that the land in the area has been degraded. It can be seen from the pH (H2O) of affected land was 4.41, lower (very acidic) than the pH (H2O) of the agricultural area, which was 5.36 (slightly acidic), with high solubility of the heavy metal Al3+. Loamy clay sand in the mining area and sandy loam in the agricultural area had bulkdensity of 1.9 and 1.2 g/cm3, respectively. Productivity of agroforestry crops of cocoa, maize, and paddy (upland rice) has decreased in the last six years. Land and plants have been exposed to Hg both around the mining area and in the agricultural area. The transfer factor of the two areas was less than one (TF < 1), in a sequence, at the mine area, of Paddy Area > Maize Cropping > Cocoa Plantation > Cassava Cropping, and in the farm area, of Paddy Area > Maize Cropping > Cassava Cropping > Cocoa Plantation. There needs to be a regulation on illegal gold mining to protect the community and for sustainability of land in Lore Lindu National Park.