Read e-book online Biomass and agriculture : sustainability, markets and PDF

By Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

ISBN-10: 9264105557

ISBN-13: 9789264105553

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Sample text

The problem is that most agricultural land degrades much faster than this ''tolerable" rate. S. policies aim explicitly at mitigating land degradation, the annual soil loss from cropland is estimated at three billion tons (Seitz and others 1979). Walker (1982) has indicated that nearly half of this occurs on lands where erosion exceeds the tolerable rate. S. rate in many parts of the developing world. Some observers have found it instructive to express soil loss in relation to grain production.

Other related issues that are not connected to damaging fertilizer use, and are not discussed here, concern efficient soil nutrient management over time through use of fertilizer (Stauber, Burt, and Linse 1975; Dillon 1977; Helyar and Godden 1977; Godden and Helyar 1980; Lanzer, Paris, and Williams 1987). Input subsidies are not confined to fertilizers. Water pricing has been used as a means of en- Figure 7 The effect of fertilizer use on the damage function Page 14 couraging land settlement and regional development.

The difference here may arise from the fact that the first view is developing-country oriented, the second industrial. Alternatively, perhaps there are unstated assumptions about time horizons and expectations that may make the polar positions not as inconsistent as they seem, especially if supported farmers feel that they should get in and exploit the situation while the "going is good," and if taxed farmers cannot imagine their situation as ever being effectively and permanently changed. Development agencies can intervene most di- Page 2 rectly and probably most effectively through projects addressed to soil conservation, but can also be associated with other projects where resource management issues merit overt concern, even if peripheral.

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Biomass and agriculture : sustainability, markets and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


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