Q. Describe the main characteristics of Intensive Subsistence Agriculture. In which parts of the world this type of agriculture is practiced?
Ans: This type of agriculture is largely found in densely populated regions of monsoon Asia.
There are two types of intensive subsistence agriculture.
(i) Intensive subsistence agriculture dominated by wet paddy cultivation:
This type of agriculture is characterised by dominance of the rice crop.
Land holdings are very small due to the high density of population.
Farmers work with the help of family labour leading to intensive use of land.
Use of machinery is limited and most of the agricultural operations are done by manual labour.
Farm yard manure is used to maintain the fertility of the soil. In this type of agriculture, the yield per unit area is high but per labour productivity is low.
(ii) Intensive subsistence agriculture dominated by crops other than paddy:
Due to the difference in relief, climate, soil and some of the other geographical factors, it is not practical to grow paddy in many parts of monsoon Asia.
Wheat, soyabean, barley and sorghum are grown in northern China, Manchuria, North Korea and North Japan.
In India wheat is grown in western parts of the Indo-Gangetic plains and millets are grown in dry parts of western and southern India.
Most of the characteristics of this type of agriculture are similar to those dominated by wet paddy except that irrigation is often used.
Q. Discuss the problems of Slums and Urban Waste Disposal in developing countries like India.
Ans: The slums, jhuggi-jhopari clusters and colonies of shanty structures is a major problem faced by the urban settlements in developing countries like India. These are inhabited by those people who were forced to migrate from the rural areas to these urban centres in search of livelihood but could not afford proper housing due to high rent and high costs of land. They occupy environmentally incompatible and degraded areas. Slums are residential areas of the least choice, dilapidated houses, poor hygienic conditions, poor ventilation, lack of basic amenities, like drinking water, light and toilet facilities, etc. Open defecation, unregulated drainage systems and overcrowded narrow street patterns are serious health and socio environmental hazards. Most of the slum population works in low-paid, high risk-prone, unorganised sectors of the urban economy. Consequently, they are the undernourished, prone to different types of diseases and illness and can not afford to give proper education to their children. The poverty makes them vulnerable to drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, vandalism, escapism, apathy and ultimately social exclusion.