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Researcher: Shanta Kumari
Guide(s): Sharma, H.R.
Keywords: Agriculture economics
Upload Date: 19-Aug-2013
University: Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya
Completed Date: 2007
Abstract: newline ABSTRACT newline newlineThe state of Himachal Pradesh, over the years, has emerged as a leading producer of temperate fruits and off-season vegetable thanks to the availability of bewildering variety of agro-climatic niches. Among different districts of the state, Shimla and Kullu are the two leading districts accounting for most of the area and production of fruits and vegetables. While a plethora of empirical studies are available in the literature on economic impact of the cultivation of these crops, there is no study on its effect on natural resource base and human health. The available anecdotal evidence emerging from field visits and interaction with the producers of these crops, especially in those regions where the cultivation of these crops is being practiced for long indicate that this has started impacting adversely on the natural resource base like soil, agro-biodiversity and human health. The anecdotal evidence needs to be put to empirical scrutiny to value the extent of degradation in soil health and the severity of the adverse effect on human health. Against this background, the present study was planned to document the commercialized agriculture led adverse changes in the natural resource base, the strategies adopted by the farmers to minimize adverse effects arising because of soil degradation and climatic change, estimate the monetary cost of these changes and suggest policy measures. The study is based on the primary data collected from 200 households and 31 key informants, 100 households and 11 key informants from 11 villages in Jallugran panchayat in Kullu block district Kullu and 100 households and 20 key informants from Matiyana panchayat in district Shimla. The sample households were selected following an amalgam of purposive and simple random sampling procedures. The data on different aspects of the cultivation of high value cash crops was collected using pre-tested schedule through a personal interview method for the agricultural year 2005-06. The soil samples were also collected from the cultivated area of each of the sample household in both the panchayats. In addition, the height and weight of a person from every sample household who was responsible for spraying most of the times and for the last many years were also recorded to construct body mass index. Appropriate statistical tools were employed to accomplish the objectives of the study. The results of the study show that among two areas environmental cost that includes the cost of degradation in soils and adverse effect on human health was higher in Kullu compared to Theog. More importantly, however, the results show that the cultivation of apple crop continues to be economically viable even after including both production and environmental costs in Kullu. However, in Theog net returns from two most important vegetable crops, namely, cauliflower and cabbage turned negative when allowance for environmental costs was also made. These findings of the study, therefore, put a question mark on the ecological sustainability and economic viability of the cultivation of these crops in Theog. These findings have serious ramifications towards the livelihood of the local population and also for the population of all other areas which are fast switching over to the cultivation of these crops. The message of the study is loud and clear: Pay attention towards promoting scientific and rational use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals to avoid ill effects on human health and promote balanced use of fertilizer including bio-fertilizer for restoring soil heath to protect the livelihoods of multitudes of small and marginal farmers. The government should, therefore, undertake policy measures to strengthen extension facilities to educate the farmers about the impending health problems due to the use of agro-chemicals. Enhancing farmers perceptions about the health consequences of pesticide exposures and the use of protection equipments during spraying is crucial. The farmers should also be educated about the importance integrated nutrient management in maintaining the soil health. newline
Pagination: 28.5cm.
Appears in Departments:Department of Agricultural Economics Extension Education and Rural Sociology

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01_title.pdfAttached File12.63 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02_certificate.pdf53.88 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_acknowledgement.pdf26.59 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_list of tables, plates, fig. etc..pdf58.14 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_contents.pdf35.08 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_chapter-i.pdf57.04 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_chapter-ii.pdf1.35 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_chapter-iii.pdf223.71 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_chapter-iv.pdf832.39 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_chapter-v.pdf100.76 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_chapter-vi.pdf98.17 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_literature.pdf107.49 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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