17 June 2017: Coinciding with the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) on 17 June 2017, the Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Forests launched the Agriculture Land Development Guidelines (ALDG) for sustainable management of agriculture land through adoption of proper processes, procedures and technologies.
The ALDG has been developed by a Technical Working Group of eight members from within and outside the Ministry with varying backgrounds and experiences.
Even as the country intends to gradually shift agricultural farming from subsistence to commercial farming; small land holdings, difficulty for farm mechanization, farm feminisation, drudgery, shortage of farm labours, land degradation, and low land productivity continue to remain as a major challenge. These factors attribute in making agriculture farming unattractive especially for youths who aspire to take up agricultural farming as a vibrant enterprise. Further, rural to urban migration reduces rural farming populace and increases pressure on the ever reducing rural habitats in producing food for the rapidly growing urbanites. To this end, concerned agencies have made various attempts in the recent past to make agriculture farming an attractive source of livelihoods.
Considering the need of the hour, the MoAF has identified and prioritised Agricultural Land Development (ALD) as the key intervention in addressing food shortage, poverty, land degradation, and climate change and incorporated it into the mainstream planning process in the 12th FYP. Different forms of land development activities such as terracing and consolidation of existing small terraces have been implemented by different agencies, both within and outside the MoAF, to combat land degradation, improve soil fertility, ease workability, and enhance crop productivity. However, in absence of a standard Agriculture Land Development Guidelines (ALDG), it has been difficult for the government to follow and enforce a uniform standard for different ALD programs and activities across the country.
With this ALDG in place, it is anticipated that all the concerned stakeholders will diligently use it in whatever land development activities they undertake. It is also hoped that through use of this ALDG, the interventions will be more focused and effective in combating land degradation, increasing crop production, mitigating climate change, and enhancing agro-ecosystems in the country.
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