Agricultural growth in India has always laboured under the burden of producing more. The idea was: grow only foodgrains. That meant: not ecologically adapted cereals such as millets, but rice and

A third factor has led to the current debility of soils in India: irrigation. That is to say, water over-use. To feed the rice-wheat mentality, net irrigated area rose from 20.8 million ha in 1950 to

The domino effect of bad policy-making and its fallout

Soils are a very slow renewable resource. To reclaim them requires, above all, a long-term plan. With falling productivity, the realisation has sunk in that soils cannot be blindly mined, and that

Government does little with records that could help reduce effect of drought on agriculture

During the last hundred years or so, deforestation and wind-water borne soil erosion have been steadily increasing and have now become the major environmental problems the world over.

Sri Lanka's Kandy lake is

Largest groundnut cultivation
5,000 traditional water tanks
104 farmer suicides during 2000 02

Sal forest worth: Rs 30,000 crore
85% population dependent on forest
65% people below poverty line

Once rich in forest and grazing land
Now known as 20th century desert
68% population marginal and unemployed

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