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Coastal Agriculture and Its Challenges: A Case Study in Gosaba Island, Sundarban, India


Agriculture is the main economic activity in Sundarban to sustain the basic livelihood of rural people. In recent decades, the nature of agriculture mainly cropping patterns, crop productivity, and agricultural land use is gradually changing because of various natural as well as anthropogenic factors. The frequent occurrence of climatic extremes over the Bay of Bengal has been directly or indirectly affected the agricultural system of the delta. In the wake of the 2009 cyclone Aila, the crop production in Gosaba rapidly declined due to high salinity and low pH in the soil. Most of the agricultural land remains a seasonal fallow due to the shortage of freshwater during the dry season. The direction of the surface slope has been altered by the unsystematic construction of embankment and haphazard construction of closure in river channels. The saucer-shaped appearance of the island causes massive drainage congestion induced waterlogging problem in the agricultural field. Waterlogging causes crop damage and low productivity. Farmers continue to face substantial monetary loss and entrapping in poverty. To overcome these issues, climate-resilient cropping strategy, proper maintenance of the drainage system, and adaptation of modern land reshaping techniques for diversified agriculture systems are urgently needed for the profound agro-based economic future of the delta.


Agricultural Land Use, Cropping Pattern, Crop Productivity, Soil Characteristics, Waterlogging, Sundarban, India



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