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Homestead Production Systems in Coastal Salt-Affected Areas of Sundarbans: Status and Way Forward Strategies

  • Subhasis Mandal
  • D. Burman
  • S. K. Sarangi
  • B. Maji
  • B. K. Bandyopadhyay
Chapter

Abstract

Majority of the households (HH) in the study area are having some kind of homestead production systems (HPS) adjacent to their dwelling house irrespective of the operational holding size. In coastal areas of West Bengal, the operational farm holding size is very small (<0.5 ha), and that too is fragmented over few more plots, resulting further reduction of the operational holding size. The poor farming communities are poverty stricken, having very low investment capacities, and land productivity is very low due to acute shortage of irrigation water in non-monsoon months. Therefore, the HPS systems are having enormous importance for improving livelihoods and toward attaining household-level food security in this region. Homestead production systems, with an average area of 0.05 ha, are comprised of several key resources like water, fish, horticultural crops, livestock, etc. The pond and the water in the pond are the most important resources of the HPS, and a whole gamut of activities are dependent by utilizing this water. Besides aquaculture in the homestead pond, growing vegetables, fruits, trees, etc. in the dike or homestead gardens is the major activity under HPS. A number of vegetables are grown in the homestead gardens like brinjal, okra (bhindi), potato, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, yam, spinach, Colocasia, amaranthus, cucumber, bitter gourd, beet, and carrot. The area under vegetable cultivation under the HPS is only 0.013–0.027 ha. Availability of fish, vegetables, and livestock products from the HPS was quite smaller in quantity, but contributed greatly toward the daily household’s food and nutrition requirement, thus reducing the external dependence and making the farm family more self-reliant. Under the current practices, the financial analysis of the current system indicated that the system was not generating the sufficient income for long-term investment, if the contribution of family labour is imputed and added as cost, but it has multiple functions, utility, and value to the HH in coastal areas under study. The market linkage with the production system is very weak primarily due to very low marketable surplus. The utilization of these available homestead water resources is not to their potential. With scientific/improved interventions, these resources can be used more efficiently, and the productivity of the whole HPS can be enhanced significantly. The HPS resources including pond and dike area can be utilized more intensively and can be made more contributing to their livelihoods. Farmers need financial support to enhance their investment capacities as well as technical support to use their resources in a more productive way. Enhancing the production level would increase the quantity of marketable surplus and thereby increase the contribution of HPS to the regional production.

Keywords

Farm Household Farm Family Bitter Gourd Marketable Surplus Dwelling House 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhasis Mandal
    • 1
  • D. Burman
    • 1
  • S. K. Sarangi
    • 1
  • B. Maji
    • 1
  • B. K. Bandyopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteRegional Research StationCanning TownIndia

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