ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Agricultural DevelopmentSubscribe to Agricultural Development

Biodiversity in and around Farmlands

Farmlands and farm practices are increasingly getting homogenised due to the all-pervasive intensification of agriculture. Often blurred in this production maximising system is the biodiversity in and around farms—both wilderness and agricultural—that dots farm neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, unlike biodiversity associated with more recognisable landscapes, such as protected areas and nature reserves, loss of biodiversity in and around farms due to agricultural intensification has not gained as much attention as it deserves. This paper highlights the potential roles that it can play to address challenges of food and nutritional security and securing rural livelihoods by drawing upon specific case studies across India and elsewhere.

Subsidy and Efficiency of Groundwater Use and Power Consumption in Haryana

High power subsidy, along with assured minimum support price and procurement by public agencies, has changed the cropping pattern in favour of water-intensive crops, especially paddy, in Haryana and Punjab. This has placed groundwater resources under severe stress and also increased the demand for energy for extraction of water. The continuation of high levels of power subsidy is not allowing crop diversification programmes to take off. It is argued that there is a need for redesigning this subsidy in such a way so as to encourage a sustainable cropping pattern suited to the agroclimatic conditions in the region, and save both water and energy.

Destitution, Deprivation and Tribal 'Development'

The reasons for the widespread hunger and devastation that Kashipur experienced this year are no different from similar reasons cited for starvation deaths a decade ago. Tribals have been driven into debt with the gradual erosion of their traditional rights to forests and the large-scale intrusion of the usury culture. It is not short-term poverty alleviation programmes or crisis management endeavours that are direly needed, but broader structural interventions that would involve tribals themselves as participants in the development process.

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