Environmental consequences of agricultural development: a case study from the green revolution state of Haryana, India.

Singh, R.B. (2000) Environmental consequences of agricultural development: a case study from the green revolution state of Haryana, India. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment , 82 (1-3). pp. 97-103.

[img] PDF
Restricted to ICRISAT researchers only


The Green Revolution in India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production. However, in the state of Haryana this has resulted in continuous environmental degradation, particularly of soil, vegetation and water resources. Soil organic matter levels are declining and the use of chemical inputs is intensifying. Newly introduced crop varieties have been responsive to inputs but this has necessitated both increased fertilizer application and use of irrigation resulting in water contamination by nitrate and phosphate and changes in the water table. With 82% of the geographic area already under cultivation, the scope for increased productivity lies in further intensification which is crucially dependent on more energy-intensive inputs. Declining nutrient-use efficiency, physical and chemical degradation of soil, and inefficient water use have been limiting crop productivity, whilst the use of monocultures, mechanization and an excessive reliance on chemical plant protection have reduced crop, plant and animal diversity in recent years. Approximately 60% of the geographical area faces soil degradation (waterlogging, salinity and alkalinity) which threatens the region's food security in the future. Since 1985, the water table has risen more than 1 m annually, and patches of salinity have started to appear at the farm level. The situation is worse in higher rainfall areas where waterlogging follows shortly after the rains. Apart from affecting agricultural crops, a high water table causes floods even following slight rains due to the reduced storage capacity of the soil. Such ecological impacts are motivating farmers to reduce fertilizer and pesticides use. This has led to an increased investment in alternative technology and products including an interest in Integrated Pest Management. The paper discusses major physical, hydrological, chemical and biological constraints relating to soil and water resources for ecosystem sustainability.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007, India.
Subjects: Environmental Science > Environment
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2010 21:57
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2010 21:57
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(00)00219-X
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/389

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item