The nature of economic activities carried out in a region influences the land-use in a region to a large extent. Land like most natural resources is a limited entity but economic activities change over time. There are three types of changes in the economy that is currently affecting the land-use in India –
a) The size of the economy (measured in terms of value for all the goods and services produced in the economy) - increasing population, change in income levels, available technology and associated factors result in the growth of the size of economy. This ultimately increases the pressure on land and cause the usage of marginal lands.
b) Change in composition of economy – Secondary and tertiary sectors grow at a faster rate than primary sector specifically the agricultural sector in developing countries like India. This difference in growth rates results in a gradual shift of land use from agricultural purposes to non-agricultural uses. It is mainly observed near urban areas where internal pressure on land causes the usage of the surrounding lands beyond the city area for building purposes.
c) Growing pressure on agricultural land – even with low growth of the agricultural sector, the pressure on agricultural land for agricultural purposes does not reduce. This occurs mainly due to two reasons. Firstly, in developing countries like India, the decline in the agricultural sector’s share in GDP is much faster than the share of population dependent on agriculture. Rapid population increase in the country means that the production from the agricultural sector has to feed more people while having access to lower area of land.
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