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An Investigation on Factors Affecting Land Use Pattern in Bihar with special reference to changes in Current Fallow Land

Sinha, D K and Ahmad, Nasim and Singh, K M (2019): An Investigation on Factors Affecting Land Use Pattern in Bihar with special reference to changes in Current Fallow Land.

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Endowment of fertile Gangetic alluvial soil and abundant water resources, particularly groundwater resources altogether constitute core components for development of agriculture in Bihar. An effort has been made in this paper to analyze factors responsible for changes in land use pattern especially increase in current fallows, shrinking net sown area and shifting of land for non-agricultural purposes in the state. The categories of land such as barren, culturable waste and permanent pastures and grazing lands have shown declining trend and these land may probably have shifted towards other categories of area under non-agricultural uses, land under tree crops and groves as well as fallow lands. A larger concentration of current fallow lands was accounted for in Gaya, Patna, Purnea, Munger, Jehanabad & Kishanganj districts. The rainfall and road length did have significant impact on the level of current fallows. Erratic monsoon and labour scarcity during the study period of present century resulted in accumulation of current fallow lands. It was further observed that the non-agricultural use of land was identified as the dominant factor for changes in common lands as it affected the current fallows negatively. It is a challenging task for policy makers to maximize the income of farmers from a continuously declining in net sown area, deteriorating climatic conditions as well as labour scarce conditions, therby resulting in aggregation of current fallows. In order to discourage the rising tendency in current fallows or to bring current fallows under cultivation, cheap sources of irrigation are needed. Revival of canal irrigation, large scale expansion of electric/solar operated irrigation devices may be the suitable way, who in turn lower the production cost and enhance the margin of profit to the farmers.

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