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گواهی نمایه سازی مقاله Do Intensive Cultivation Practices Harm Environment:Some Evidences?

عنوان مقاله: Do Intensive Cultivation Practices Harm Environment:Some Evidences?
شناسه (COI) مقاله: STRD01_040
منتشر شده در اولین کنفرانس بین المللی توسعه روستایی، تجارب و آینده نگری در توسعه محلی در سال ۱۳۹۰
مشخصات نویسندگان مقاله:

Shyam Sunder Pd Sharma - Professor & Head, Centre for Water and Land Management, National Institute ofRural Development, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India

خلاصه مقاله:
Agriculture depends heavily on natural resources for inputs, for example, water, soil andfertilizers and is often at the same time in competition with other industries andhouseholds for these inputs. If the amount of natural resources available to agriculturefalls either because agriculture uses natural resources unsustainable or because otherindustries or households do this, agricultural production will fail to be maintained in theabsence of technological progress. It is estimated global agricultural production increasedby about 22 percent in the 1980s. If a similar rate of increase in the period ahead were tobe sustained, agricultural production could increase by two-thirds compared to the mid-1990s by 2025. With increasing population and virtually no new area available forextension of demand for food and fiber for its rising population and tapping the exportsopportunities made available by a more liberalized trading world. Increasing cropproduction per unit of land appears to be only way of increasing agricultural productionand meeting the future demands of these commodities. Irrigation appears to be the majordriving force for realizing increasing agricultural production from the available land and inproviding food security for the country. Irrigation, however, must grow at rates faster thanit has grown in the past. Intensive farming practices, particularly with wheat and rice inIndia, have virtually mined nutrients from the soil. Due to heavy use of fertilizers, excessnitrates have leached into groundwater and contamination of groundwater with nitrates hasincreased dramatically. As such, the cultivable lands have become sick by overapplicationof chemicals. Apart from over use of chemicals, equally important issue isimbalance in the application of fertilizers and pesticides. West Bengal in the 1970shad one of the slowest growth rates of agricultural production—whereas in the 1980s itwas the fastest growing state with growth rate of 6.5 per cent for food-grains production.There was a switch to high-yielding varieties, a shift towards cash crops like oilseeds andvegetables, and a substantial expansion of multiple cropping. The result has been that thebenefits of agricultural growth in the 1980s and 1990s have been relatively evenly shared,which is probably not unrelated to the fact that West Bengal has been one of the stateswhere the decline in poverty has been the fastest. The share of the poor went from 73percent in 1973-74 – the highest across all states in the country—to 32 per cent in 1999-2000.A large part of the growth over the last decade was driven by the expansion of Boro riceproduction based on the use of high-yielding varieties and irrigation water. By now, mostplaces suited for Boro production have already made the switch and there is someevidence that the water table is not being replenished. More generally, the scope forfurther expansion of diesel tube-wells and canal irrigation seems to be relatively limitedand even ignoring the arsenic problem that has already become a serious danger in severalFirst Internatinoal Conference on Rural Development Experiences and Future Plans in Local Dvelopment551Do Intensive Cultivation Practices Harm Environment: Some Evidences?districts. However, in absence of further innovations agricultural growth in West Bengal isheading where other successful states like Punjab and Haryana have ended—in a plateauof close to zero growth. But the spread of input-intensive agriculture has given us a certainmeasure of food security, but it has been at the cost of falling water tables, degrading soils,poor management of irrigation system, and the harmful side effects of increasingpesticides and fertilizer use.

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