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Evaluating sustainable intensification and diversification options for agriculture-based livelihoods within an aquatic biodiversity conservation context in Buxa, West Bengal, India

Evaluating sustainable intensification and diversification options for agriculture-based livelihoods within an aquatic biodiversity conservation context in Buxa, West Bengal, India

Bunting, Stuart W. ORCID: 0000-0003-0151-7733, Mishra, Rajeshwar, Smith, Kevin G. and Ray, Dhananjay (2014) Evaluating sustainable intensification and diversification options for agriculture-based livelihoods within an aquatic biodiversity conservation context in Buxa, West Bengal, India. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 13 (4). pp. 275-293. ISSN 1473-5903 (Print), 1747-762X (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2014.966530)

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Abstract

Potential impacts of sustainable intensification and diversification options for agriculture-based livelihoods in Buxa, West Bengal, India were evaluated using bioeconomic modelling. The baseline scenario involved multiple cropping seasons and a combination of crops on 0.9 ha landholdings, livestock husbandry, and exploitation of common property resources. With capital costs of Rs. 128,180 (US$ 2293) and annual operating costs of Rs. 37,290 (US$ 667), the net benefit generated (excluding depreciation) was Rs. 70,250 (US$ 1257) annually. The pay-back period was 1.8 years, and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) was 53.7% over 10 years. Allocation of 20 days annually to fishing increased the net benefit to Rs. 75,030 (US$ 1,342) and IRR to 56.5% with minimal added costs and risks. Adopting the system of rice intensification (SRI) for paddy cultivation on 0.35 ha increased the IRR to 61.1%, while reducing agrochemical and inorganic fertiliser use. Including small-scale fish culture in a 0.1 ha pond integrated in the irrigation scheme for SRI cultivation resulted in an IRR of 77.3% and reduced the pay-back period to 1.3 years. Some risks to biodiversity are apparent with each scenario; however, with appropriate safeguards, sustainable agricultural intensification and livelihoods diversification could bolster agrobiodiversity and social-ecological resilience of highland communities, while alleviating pressure on biodiversity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity conservation, bioeconomic modelling, highland aquatic resources, livelihoods diversification, sustainable agricultural intensification, Buxa, India
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2020 09:45
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27543

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