Shift in Cultivation vs Sustainable Agriculture: Evidence from Kerala

  • Karunakaran N
Keywords: cultivation, sustainable agriculture, soil fertility, groundwater level, pollution, Kerala


The statistical profile of the Kerala agriculture since 1960 reveals a shift incultivation in Kerala. This creates imbalances in the cropping system, whichhave serious economic and environmental consequences for the farm sectorand the sustainability of the agrarian economy. A shift in cultivation andthe subsequent application of chemical fertilisers and pesticides result inthe depletion of inherent nutrients of the soil and create chemical pollution.There is wide concern on the quantity and quality of surface andgroundwater. Sustainability has three important indicators: continuedprofitability, soil stability overtime and absence of adverse impact on theenvironment. In this context, the shift in cultivation and the sustainableagriculture are analysed in terms of soil fertility status, groundwater level,chemical pollution and total factor productivity growth, taking evidencesfrom Kerala. The analysis shows that there are chemical pollution and
decrease in soil fertility status, groundwater level and total factor productivitygrowth in the crop sector of Kerala.