Characterizing Natural Resources For Sustainable Agriculture In The Semi-Arid Tropics

Virmani, S M and Eswaran, H (1990) Characterizing Natural Resources For Sustainable Agriculture In The Semi-Arid Tropics. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Natural Resources Management for a Sustainable Agriculture, February 6-10, 1990, New Delhi, India.

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The natural resources of a country are its most sacred endowment. It is a base on which all life depends and in most countries of the world, ia the life support system of the country. In the recent past, with burgeoning populations and the national goals of seeking sell-sufficiency in food and fiher production, the resource base is slowly being stripped, often ir~eversibly. The main result is man-induced degradation of land resources through Inadvertent, inappropriate or misuse of technological innovations. Even in the United States, until recently about 3 billion hectares of top soil was lost annually with an economic cost of between 3 to 6 billion dollars (Napier, 1986). Few estimates of the concomitant loss of soil fertility are available. In Zimbabwe, a PA0 study indicated that on an average, 1.6 million tons of nitrogen and 0.24 million tons of phosphorus are lost per year through erosion and the cost to replace these nutrients would exceed US$ 1.5 billion (Stocking, 1986). This is an amount which most countries cannot afford for maintenance of their agricultural sector. When degradation becomes a continuing process, yields decline and the farmer is forced to eke a living on another piece of land, which in most instances may be a fragile ecosystem -- steeplands or coastal swamps -- since much of the better arable land is already under cultivation. The system then brcollea iterative to the determinant of all.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2011 10:03
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2011 10:03
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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