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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 547–557 | Cite as

Paradigm and ecological implication of changing agricultural land-use: A case study from Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Himalaya, India

  • Vikram S. NegiEmail author
  • Rakesh K. Maikhuri
  • Lakhpat S. Rawat
Article

Abstract

The paper scrutinizes that the changes in any sub-system (i.e. agriculture, livestock and forest) have direct impact on biophysical and social processes in village ecosystem of the central Himalayan region. In view of this, we studied the changes in spatial patterns of agricultural land use and dependency of agroecosystem on forest and animal husbandry over a period of two decades. Based on data analysis it was found that the cultivation of some traditional crops has either been abandoned in the area or declined by 25%–85% due to introduction of cash crops viz., potato, kidney bean and apple farming with acreage increased up to 51%–72% in the last three decades. Livestock population of different categories has declined drastically by 17%–75%, and has resulted shortage of farmyard manure, deterioration of soil quality and fertility which leads to un-sustainability of agriculture system. The changes in agrobiodiversity have led to the dramatic increase in soil loss and runoff from the croplands together with the increase pressure on forests. The economic evaluation of each crop showed higher monetary benefit from cash crops as compared to traditional crops. Among all the evaluated crops, the monetary output/input ratio was found highest (3.04) for kidney bean and lowest (1.26) for paddy. Changes in land use and management have improved household income but at the cost of forest degradation, less productive animal husbandry and loss of agrodiversity in the region. Therefore, there is an urgent need to bring desirable changes in agricultural policy, research, land use and efficient management of the resources for maintaining sustainability in agro and Himalayan forest ecosystem.

Keywords

Forest Animal husbandry Cash crop Traditional agrodiversity Sustainability 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vikram S. Negi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rakesh K. Maikhuri
    • 2
  • Lakhpat S. Rawat
    • 2
  1. 1.G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi-KatarmalAlmoraIndia
  2. 2.G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and DevelopmentGarhwal unitSrinagar GarhwalIndia

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