The Socioeconomic Factors Behind Agricultural Land Drainage's Environmental Impact in Commnist-Era Czechia


ORSILLO Nicholas Paul

Rok publikování 2013
Druh Kapitola v knize
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis After World War II the process of agricultural intensification drastically changed the rural Czech landscape. The implementation of communist agricultural policy, particularly after 1960, resulted in serious environmental degradation in many areas. This paper deals with the socioeconomic factors behind one intensification factor - land drainage - and also examines its environmental impacts. As time progressed land was drained in less fertile, environmentally sensitive areas, which lead to a decrease in economic efficiency and an increase in the environmental impact of drainage projects. Interviews were held with individuals involved in agricultural land drainage during this era in order to create an oral history of drainage. On the basis of these interviews, supporting literature, and statistical information it was determined that five primarily socioeconomic factors contributed to agricultural land drainage’s environmental impact during this period: 1) differential premiums helped expand drainage to more ecologically susceptible land at higher elevations, 2) physical changes in the landscape required excessive drainage, 3) the technical aspects of drainage were emphasized over its biological aspects, 4) farmers were in favor of drainage as it helped improved crop yields and was completely state subsidized as well, and 5) there was no pressure on drainage design and construction engineers to improve economic efficiency.
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