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Shrinking Net Sown Area and Changing Land Use Pattern in Bihar: An Economic Analysis

Sinha, D.K. and Ahmad, Nasim and Singh, K.M. (2017): Shrinking Net Sown Area and Changing Land Use Pattern in Bihar: An Economic Analysis.

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Land is vital natural resource for any developmental activity. The judicious use of land is an earnest demand of time as the increasing demand for food and shelter is rapidly increasing with the burgeoning population. Bihar shares about 8.63% of the total population in the country while the share in total land area of India is only 2.86%. There are about 1.61 crore farm holdings of which 91% is marginal still about 68 percent of population earns their livelihood from agriculture and allied sector. Agriculture holds a vital role in food and nutrition security of the state in addition to overall development. Land is an important input for the agriculture sector.Hence, any change or changes in land use pattern has significant implication in food security for the state in particular and nation in general. This paper is based on secondary data published by Government of Bihar. An attempt has been made to investigate agro-climatic zone wise land use of the state and state as a whole. The study reveals that the net sown area has declined both on zonal level and also at state level. Decline in net sown area in agro-climatic zone-III is more pronounced than that of zone-I & zone-II. Being centre of the state, urbanization has taken place in faster way in the zone-III. The other reasons for changes undergoing in land use pattern may be increasing population, fragmentation of land holdings and declining water table in this region. Zone-I & zone-II come under flood prone area, farmers put their land as current fallow due to devastating flood threat causing damage to their crops. Land under trees and groves have also witnessed positive percentage change over the decade and also in growth rate, this may be the other reason for decline in net sown area in the state. Shrinking of net sown area is of great concern to feed the up warding growth of population. Motivating farmers to increase productivity to protect growing population and serving their demand for food and nutritional security, we have to make such kind of strategies which may lead to enhance the income of the cultivators as well as fulfill the food demand of growing population, keeping in mind the fast changing climatic conditions all over the world and protecting wasteful and careless use of natural resources for betterment of coming generation.

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