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Trends in land use and crop acreages in Karnataka and their repercussions

By Seema Purushothaman and Sham Kashyap


Agriculture in India is going through a systemic crisis as\ud evidenced by the sector's sluggish growth rate and the\ud seemingly long phase of farmers' distress. Fingers have been\ud pointed in every direction while concrete reasoning for\ud agricultural distress seems to be lacking. Hence, other than\ud indebtedness and socio-economic stress which are cited as\ud proximate reasons behind farmers' suicides, we are not exactly\ud sure about what drives these reasons. In this context, one poorly\ud understood area in Indian agriculture is the impact of the\ud structural change in agricultural land use on the long term socioeconomic-\ud ecological viability of agriculture. We believe that the\ud trend analysis of land use and crop acreage changes provides\ud one of the missing linkages between agricultural policies and\ud their field level impacts on agriculture. This premise is based on\ud the facts that a. any policy related to agriculture if effective,\ud brings changes in productive use of agricultural and related\ud land use categories and b. Ecological, economic and social\ud problems in agriculture at the field level are strongly linked to\ud the current crop acreage or the changes associated with it. In\ud this background, the objective of this article is to analyse district\ud level trends in land use and crop acreages over a period of four\ud decades in order to help strengthen the linkage between various\ud land use changes and sustainability in production landscapes.\ud The result of this analysis indicates a diverse set of changes in\ud land use and crop acreages across the districts of Karnataka.\ud These changes have become much more volatile in the last\ud decade. These observations call for a micro level understanding\ud of the drivers of such developments in order to initiate policy\ud changes to address issues affecting agricultural growth

Topics: G Journal Papers
Publisher: University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad
Year: 2010
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Provided by: ePrints@ATREE
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