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2016 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

10. Soil Fertility Management in Semiarid Regions: The Sociocultural, Economic and Livelihood Dimensions of Farmers’ Practices—A Case of Andhra Pradesh

Author : B. Suresh Reddy

Published in: Nature, Economy and Society

Publisher: Springer India

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Abstract

Green Revolution technology gains in agricultural productivity and food security were widely associated with irrigated lands. However, there are now widespread problems associated with the use of chemical fertilisers, mismanagement of surface water and overexploitation of groundwater. Potential for expanding irrigated agriculture is decreasing and hence rainfed agriculture remains high on India’s development agenda. As a major provider of organic manure, livestock are crucial to the stability of dryland agriculture. Soil fertility management affects not only farmers but also landless poor, cattle owners and shepherds. Based on the fieldwork done in Andhra Pradesh, this study explores the local farmers’ in-depth knowledge on soil fertility management, and the cultural and socioeconomic web woven around these practices. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used for understanding the farmers’ soil fertility management practices and the conditions under which they adopt such practices. The present study revealed that farmers in semiarid regions are actively managing soil fertility and other soil properties through diverse practices that are based on local resources and knowledge. This study highlights the contribution of organic matter by traditional soil fertility management practices in maintaining soil fertility. Regression analysis revealed that “large ruminants” is a key variable influencing soil fertility. The empirical results of this study call for an argument to be made for an approach to supporting soil fertility management by farmers that is more attuned to the range of circumstances that is found on the ground and best suits the long-term productivity of soils.

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Footnotes
1
Semiarid refers to a climatic classification of typically dry areas with rainfall ranging from 500 to 950 mm and evaporative demand in excess of rainfall for a greater part of the year.
 
2
γ is the ratio of individual variation to total variation in output, i.e. \(\gamma ={{\sigma }^{2}}_{u}/{{\sigma }^{2}}_{v}+{{\sigma }^{2}}_{u}.\)
 
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Metadata
Title
Soil Fertility Management in Semiarid Regions: The Sociocultural, Economic and Livelihood Dimensions of Farmers’ Practices—A Case of Andhra Pradesh
Author
B. Suresh Reddy
Copyright Year
2016
Publisher
Springer India
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-2404-4_10

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