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Ecological Limits and Economic Development$
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Ramprasad Sengupta

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198081654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081654.001.0001

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Land Use and Land Degradation

Land Use and Land Degradation

(p.155) 8 Land Use and Land Degradation
Ecological Limits and Economic Development

Ramprasad Sengupta

Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on the sustainable use of land which is fixed in availability and has competing uses for meeting the requirements of any economy. As agriculture for food supply is the most critical use of land it outlines the theory of land use and rent with reference to soil or land quality and defines the carrying capacity of land in terms of providing life support to people in calorie units. It critically discusses the issue of food security with reference to the adequacy of carrying capacity of land and points to both the challenges of distribution as well as augmenting carrying capacity using biotechnology and developing genetically modified crops. It further discusses the actual pattern of land use and land degradation in India, and their causal factors, like soil erosion, chemical and physical degradation of land, poverty, overpopulation and dependency on ecologically fragile resources with their policy implications.

Keywords:   Land Use, Carrying Capacity, Food Security, Biotechnology, GM Crops, Land Degradation, Soil Erosion, Chemical Degradation, Physical Degradation, Resource Dependency, Land use Policy

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