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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.56 (2) (Mar - Apr, 2015) (219-224)

EXTERNALITIES OF SOIL DEGRADATION DUE TO SALINITY AND COPING-UP STRATEGIES – A SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY ON COASTAL REGION OF TAMIL NADU

R Parimalarangan
Ph.D. Research Scholar (Ag.Econ)
Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute, Trichy

N R Padmanaban
Professor and Head, Dept of Social Sciences
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

Abstract

The present study was conducted in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu during 2011-12. The study covered two villages of Sirkali block and primary data were collected from 80 sample farmers. It was conducted to assess the farmers’ perceptions on soil degradation due to salinity. Results showed that poor leaching and development of hard pan on the soil surface and stunted crop growth and crop failure in early stages were the major indicators of soil salinity as expressed by farmers. Among the coping-up strategies, cultivation of crop and choice, increase in seed rate and abandonment of crop production were considerably higher than other coping-up strategies adopted. Among the irrigation strategies, cleaning of field irrigation channels and digging of open field drains were practiced by the farmers, which accounted for 28 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively. Among the cultivation of crop measures, cultivation of paddy was practiced by 43 per cent farmers. Similarly, increase in the seed rate was adopted by 31 per cent of the farmers. Lack of incentives and technical know-how were the major reasons as expressed by the farmers for non-adoption of coping-up strategies.

Key words: Paddy, salinity, externalities, coping up strategies

Introduction

Land is the most valuable natural resource for production of food, fibre, fuel and many other essential goods required to meet human and animal needs. Even now, 90 per cent of the food production comes from the soil and less than 10 per cent from inland water and ocean (Kulkarni, 2007). Land degradation due to salinity is a major risk factor affecting income, employment and food security in the long run. Although irrigation (absence or inadequacy of drainage) frequently leads to the salinity problems in some areas, the rate of development and spread of the salinity problems are significantly influenced by non technical factors. Poor on farm water use efficiency can be traced to poor water management by both the farmers and irrigation authorities. If there is a distorted pattern of water distribution throughout the system, even in the absence of any salinity or water logging externalities, inefficiencies are high and salinity further aggravates it by over 60 per cent (Janmaat, 2004).

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