Land-use Dynamics in Jammu and Kashmir: Agricultural Economics Research Review

M.H. Wani*, S.H. Baba and Shahid Yousuf Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar Campus, Srinagar – 191 121, Jammu & Kashmir
The dynamics of shift among different land-use classes has been studied in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A significant decline has been observed in the total reported area, which necessitates a proper land-use survey through remote sensing. A declining trend has also been observed in the area under forests. The unfavourable increasing trends in the area put to non-agricultural uses and barren and unculturable land are likely to have serious implications on ecological balance. Inter-sectoral land budgeting analysis has revealed that shifts in area are occurring from desirable ecological towards undesirable ecological sector. The estimates of regression analysis have revealed that the net irrigated area, literacy and area not available for cultivation have significantly improved the cropping intensity in the state agriculture, whereas agricultural density and area under rice are significant determinants of current fallow lands. The study has emphasized on the evolution of suitable institutional mechanism for scientific management, conservation and development of land resources in the state.
Introduction Indian agriculture is a prelude to economic development and a pre-requisite for poverty alleviation and overall economic development (Ravallion and Dutta, 1996; Singh and Baleka, 1999; Anonymous, 2007). In view of this, Indian agriculture is now poised for technical transformation for ensuring food security, export earnings, and decentralized development to reduce rural poverty, owing to the severe population pressure on the natural resource base of land, water, bio- diversity and other resources to meet its growing food and development demands. Agriculture is a land-based activity and as such land and water have been the basic elements of life- support system and an important resource for the  economic life of a majority of people in the world. The way people handle and use land resource is decisive for their social and economic well-being as well as for the sustained quality of land resources. India, with only 2.3 per cent of world’s total land area supports 18 per cent of human and 15 per cent of livestock population in the world. According to the National Remote Sensing Agency’s (NRSA) report, there are 75.5 million hectares of wastelands in the country of which around 58 million hectares are treatable and can be brought into productive levels through appropriate measures. However, the per capita arable land in the country is only 0.15 ha, which is expected to come down to nearly 0.08 ha by 2025 (Kanda, 2007). It is a paradoxical situation that on the one hand more production is required from the scarce soil resources for meeting the demand of ever-expanding population, while on the other, cultivable areas are being shifted towards non-agricultural uses. India has experienced a considerable shift under different land-use classes during post-independence period.
* Author for correspondence; E-mail: § The paper is a part of research work conducted under Uni- versity financed project on “Agricultural

Development in the State of Jammu & Kashmir” during the period 2003-05

Land-use is a highly dynamic process. It implies that policy discussions and development planning have to be based on a sound understanding of these dynamics. Therefore, it is imperative to make a comprehensive study of the pattern and magnitude of land-use shifts for sustainability and productivity of agriculture in an area. There are a wide variations in the distribution and utilization of land resources across different states of the country, based on topographic, geographical, political and other factors. Jammu and Kashmir, one of the north-western hill states, has a total reported area of 2416 thousand hectares, of which only 31 per cent is available for cultivation and the rest is either under demarcated forests or other land-use classes. Moreover, due to urbanization and infrastructural development, there is all the possibility of a shift among land-use classes in the state. While some land-use shifts have occurred in the desirable direction, some others might have been in the undesirable direction. In this back drop, the present study was undertaken to investigate the dynamics of land-use pattern in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) with the following objectives: (i) To analyze the trends and dynamics of shift among different land-use classes in J& K, and (ii) To study the extent of productive and unproductive land-use pattern and their determinants in J&K. The objectives have been accomplished to test the hypothesis that although there has been a shift among land-use classes, no shift has occurred in the undesirable direction.
Data and Methodology The study is based on secondary data obtained from various issues of Digest of Statistics and other publications of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, for the period 1966-67 to 2004-05. The compound growth rates in different land- use classes were estimated by employing Equation (1):

Y = abt …(1) where, Y = Area under a land-use class (’000 ha), a = Constant,
b = Regression coefficient, and t = Time in years.

The dynamics of land-use shifts in each state was examined with the help of a simple identity of linearly additive land-use changes (Sharma and Pandey, 1992; Pandey and Tiwari, 1987).

The first accounting identity linearly summed up the area under all land-use classes which was equal to the total reporting area, given by Equation (2): R = Fr + P + M + N + U + W + Fe + Fo + C …(2) where,

R = Total reporting area, Fr = Area under forests, P = Area under permanent pastures, M = Area under miscellaneous tree crops, N = Area under non-agricultural uses, U = Usar and barren lands, W = Culturable wastelands, Fe = Current fallows, Fo = Fallow lands other than current fallows; and C = Net area cultivated. Also, ∆R = ∆Fr + ∆P + ∆M + ∆N + ∆U + ∆W + ∆Fc + ∆Fo + ∆C …(3)

Then, the total land endowment was grouped into three broad sectors, viz. (i) ecological sector (E) comprising Fr, P, M and U, (ii) agricultural sector (A) comprising W, C, Fc and Fo, and (iii) non- agricultural (NA) sector. The ecological sector was further divided into two sub-sectors, viz. (i) the desirable ecology (E1) comprising Fr, P and M, and (ii) undesirable ecology (E2) comprising U.

Then, the net changes within each sector were grouped as per equation (4)- (6) : ∆E = ∆E1+ ∆E2 = (∆Fr + ∆P +∆M) + (∆U) …(4) ∆A = ∆Fc + Fo + ∆W + ∆C …(5) ∆R = ∆E1 + E2 + ∆A + ∆N …(6) Thus, the annual rates of change in different classes were worked out and budgeted as per Equations (4), (5) and (6). This budgeting facilitated the analysis of direction of land-use shifts and their dynamics. To quantify the determinants of productive and unproductive land utilization in J&K, regression models of the following structural forms were fitted: (a) Productive Utilization Steadily growing population and shrinking net sown area demand urgent evolution and adoption of technologies that augment land productivity. Such technologies can be classified under two analytical heads: those which raise the yield of any particular crop per unit of land, and those which increase the total output per unit of land from all crops grown over a rotational period through increase in cropping intensity. Yield increases are of course associated with additional capital use; all this may also increase the total labour input per unit of area. But then, it is usually noted that labour-use per unit of capital or per unit of output would decline significantly under such circumstances. Thus, this yield raising technique is better suited to capital-abundant and labour-scarce economies. The latter kind of technological changes which improve cropping intensity are desirable not only for fuller utilization of land resources but also for reducing seasonal unemployment in the labour-abundant and capital- scarce rural economy and for achieving higher stability in food supply (Rao, 1976; Dev, 1989). Therefore, cropping intensity was specified as endogenous variable in productive land-use model as per Equation (7): CI= f (IA, HOLD, ANAC, LIT, U) …(7) where, CI = Cropping intensity (%), IA = Net area irrigated (ha), HOLD = Average size of holding (ha), ANAC = Area not available for cultivation (ha), LIT = Literacy rate (%), and U = Error-term. (b) Untapped/Unproductive Utilization The under-utilized agricultural land can be categorized on the basis of length of period for which land remains unused as: current fallows (less than a year), fallows other than current fallows or long-term fallows (1-5 years) and cultivable or culturable wastelands (> 5 years). Among these categories, culturable wasteland is mostly constituted by degraded land and the reasons for not cultivating such lands include poor soil fertility, salinity, alkalinity, waterlogging, etc. (Sharma et al., 1990). The reasons for keeping land as long-term fallows may be poverty, inadequate supply of water, silting of canals and unremunerative nature of farming. This category also includes degraded land. The category of current fallows does not constitute degraded land; on the contrary, it represents some potential for increasing net sown area, and is important from the point of view of management of agricultural land. In view of this, it is desirable to consider the current fallows as untapped or unproductive use of agricultural land. Accordingly, a current fallow was specified as endogenous variable in the function (8): CF = f (RAIN, AR, YLD, AD, U) …(8) where, CF = Current fallow (ha), RAIN = Annual rainfall (mm), YLD = Average yield level of food grains (Mt/ ha), AR = Area under paddy cultivation (ha), AD = Agricultural density (Rural population / Cultivated area), and U = Error-term. The models specified above were estimated in log linear form using ordinary least square (OLS) procedure.
Results and Discussion
Trends in Different Land-use Classes To find the trends in different land-use classes in J&K, both compound growth rates and percentage changes in each class were estimated (Table 1). The percentage changes have revealed a marginal decline (0.083%) in the total reported area which necessitates proper land-use surveys through remote sensing. The area under forest has decreased at an annual.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More