Impact of technology extension on land use changes, food security and economic prosperity in a Central Himalayan watershed

Dhyani, B.L. and Raizada, A. and Ghosh, B.N. and Juyal, G.P. (2009) Impact of technology extension on land use changes, food security and economic prosperity in a Central Himalayan watershed. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 37 (2). pp. 133-143.

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This paper reports the impact of technology extension on changes in land use practices, agricultural productivity, on-farm employment generation and socioeconomic status of farmers in the Upper Kosi watershed, located in the mid-elevation zone of the Central Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. The study is based on primary data collected from 120 farm families through personal interview, participatory rural appraisal techniques and secondary data from official records. Marginal analysis through budgeting technique was employed to assess the impact on various attributes. Results reveal that over a 7-year period, area under cereal crops decreased by 12.4% but area under high value commodities (vegetables, oilseeds and fruits) increased by 312%. Overall cropping intensity increased by 35% and irrigated area increased by 356% due to creation of water storage and conveyance systems. Agri-horticultural systems with fruit trees like peaches and plums have been integrated with capsicum, peas and tomatoes as understorey crops. Two major cereal crops (rice and wheat) and 80-100% of vegetables were sown with improved varieties leading to higher yields. This has also led to excessive use of pesticides, especially during the summer (May-September) crops. Total food production increased by 48%, although area under net cultivated area declined, indicating a high adoption rate of improved farming practices. Area under millets declined by 52% which was used for the cultivation of high value commodities. Average family income increased by 258.4% over the pre-project, with income from fruits and vegetables being the largest contributor. Crop diversification, horticulture and animal husbandry together created 0.13 million additional man-days annually. Economic analysis revealed that fruit cultivation was the most remunerative activity with a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.64 and a pay-back period (PBP) of only 8 years, while investments made for improving irrigation facilities had a BCR of 1.19 and PBP of 10 years

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, 218 Kaulagarh Road, Dehradun 248 195, India
Subjects: Plant Production
Social Sciences > Agricultural Economics
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2011 03:45
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2015 09:25

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