Essay Example on India is an agriculture based Country

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India is an agriculture based country having almost about 58 of the cultivated area as rainfed This area constitutes about 58 of the cultivated area and 40 of the country's food production Even after using the irrigation potential of the country to a great extent almost half of the cultivated area will still be under rainfed farming The rained farming has much of the area under coarse cereals 85 pulses 83 oilseeds 70 rice 42 and nearly 65 of cotton area Therefore increasing the productivity of major rainfed crops to meet national food demand becomes necessary The performance of rainfed agriculture is critical to achieve and sustain higher growth in agriculture Rainfed agriculture assumes importance from the consideration of growth equity and sustainability The north western tract of the India located in the foothills of Shiwalik belt of Himalayas locally known as Kandi area constitutes around 5 million ha area in Punjab is also rainfed this region is considered as one of the eight most degraded and fragile agro ecosystems of the country Dogra 2000 Despite receiving a mean annual rainfall of 750 to 1150 mm crop yields are rather low in this area 



Low organic matter content intensive and erratic rainfall distribution and coarse texture are the major factors contributing to high erodibility of the soils in this region Arora 2006 which leads to soil erosion and sizeable loss of soil nutrients leading to low productivity and poor economic condition of the farmers of this area Runoff and soil loss varies from 35 45 of the total precipitation and 25 225 tonnes ha 1yr 1 respectively in this region Sur Ghuman 1994 Uneven topography high soil erodibility and erosivity of rains are the causes of soil erosion in this region Arora et al 2006 Nearly 20 to 45 per cent of annual rainfall is lost as surface runoff contributing to soil erosion by water Hadda et al 2000 Rainfall variability is more in the winter months as compared to the summer months in the area Kukal and Bawa 2013 These findings suggest that there is a need for some soil and water conservation measures in this area which can be achieved by planned land use and conservation measures an important step in the optimization of the land and water resources Some common socio economic problems of this region include increasing unemployment lack of irrigation facilities scarcity of arable land and undulating terrain are the reasons why this region has not been able to utilise the full potential of green revolution The magnitude of soil erosion and land degradation depends largely on various inherent soil properties Singh Prakash 2000 Land use change is one of the major factors affecting the biodiversity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems Sala et al 2000 Large variations in soil properties under different environmental factors and land use patterns exists 



Conversion of forest lands to agricultural lands is one of the major concerns in climate change and environmental degradation Wali et al 1999 therefore assessment of the seasonal variations with respect to a natural system is of prime importance for devising long term management policies Land use may be defined as a perennial system or practice which is adopted to replace or modify the traditional land use with objective to match the land capability classes for generating more assured income with minimum risk through efficient utilization of available resources Diversification of land use is a multidisciplinary approach which includes an intimate interaction among soil water climate livestock vegetation and socio economic dimensions in formulating most remunerative eco friendly and environmentally sustainable land use systems Arora and Hadda 2016 When land is put to certain uses there is an accompanying change in intrinsic properties of the soil and alters hydrological physical and chemical balance of the soil Some of the world's highest yields are generated form rainfed agriculture Rockström and Falkenmark 2000 Wani et al 2003a b Rockström et al 2007

 Furthermore improved management practices still continue to provide increased productivity besides improving soil quality parameters i e physical chemical and biological along with an increase in carbon sequestration of 330 kg C ha year Wani et al 2003a The vast potential of rainfed agriculture is still unknown and needs to be unlocked through intelligent management of natural resources for increasing productivity and income to achieve global food security in the developing world appropriate soil and water management practices play a very decisive role in increasing agricultural productivity in these areas It is often asserted that the second green revolution has to be in rainfed areas which it is difficult to achieve unless location specific farming system strategies are evolved Till date a very little information is available on various soil properties in relation to seasonal variations and land use systems in sub mountainous zone of Punjab Hence the present study is undertaken to assess seasonal variations on soil physical and biochemical properties in different land use based ecosystems in sub montane Punjab



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