Is the current land use pattern in crop agriculture is sustainable in the Bhavani Basin of Southern India?: Application of a Bio-economic model

Efficient and sustainable utilization of resources, particularly land and water resources for agriculture have occupied the centre stage in the economic agenda of a nation. The regional resource availability and the biotic, abiotic and socio-economic constraints are largely varied in the any crop production system of that region. The integration of sustainable resource use with the production programs and income as objectives of farming thus, leads to a multiple objective-planning framework. Attaining sustainable increase in agriculture production by considering the biophysical variability of the region without affecting the natural resources base is therefore very important to achieve food security for the growing population in a developing country situation. The current study is to develop appropriate land use pattern in crop agriculture for sustainable land and water use to the agricultural development in the Bavani Basin of western zone of Tamil Nadu state in southern India, using a multiple goal linear programming approach. Bhavani basin in the western zone of Tamil Nadu - one of the most diversified in bio physical features, was evaluated in this study. The land use model employed in the study following the bio-economic model by Shiferaw and Holden, (2003) who incorporated the important variations in the biophysical system (land and soils) and market characteristics. This study traced the alternative cropping pattern which would maximizes the farm net income at a relatively lower water requirement, lower land requirement (hectare days to ensure relatively more fallow period to lower land exhaustion rate) and that would lower the environment damage in-terms of lower Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) with the given land and ground water availability of each identified ten homogeneous land units beside the length of growing period determined on the basis of quantum and distribution of rainfall and temperature. The major biophysical factors considered beside the land availability, ground and surface water availability were; crop suitability for the particular soil type, crop sequence and climatic variations and these factors were specified as constraints in the land use model. The input data for the model were collected from the sample respondents in the delineated homogeneous land units. The actual water availability for each standard week (t) was estimated after adjusting the effective rainfall received during the period of crop stand from the total water requirement of each crop activity. The land use model estimates revealed the possibility of increasing the crop income from the current level of INR 6.14 billion to INR 8.25 billion annually. This alternative crop plan also helped to reduce the area under high water consuming crops in water deficit areas.

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bio-economic static land use model for identifying alternative crop set for the sustainable resource use

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-05-27

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