Agriculture and wildlife conservation

Posted by: Lakshmy Raman on

It is vital that environmentalists and the media also focus on the problems with respect to agriculture in India, particularly in relation to water supply. More than 60 per cent Indians live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for most or part of their income. India has only four per cent of the world's water resources and the water crisis is not getting the attention it deserves. A bulk of water is used in agriculture. Our irrigation efficiency is extremely low, with much of the pumped water either evaporating or wasted in irrigating weeds rather than the crops. Drop-irrigation systems for example can improve efficiency and must be mooted. Spending time and money on making agriculture more efficient can have a variety of indirect beneficial results. A disgruntled and poor farmer is more likely to be angered by wild animals invading his crops or with any wildlife conservation measures and less willing to work towards options to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Similarly, he will be less inclined to be involved in poaching if benefits from farming are higher and assured.