While high-technology and service industries have grown in recent years in the region, most South Asians still live a traditional life style of subsistence farming. Modern management methods are allowing higher crop yields, but South Asia continues to battle problems such as inadequate water supply, pollution, and internal and external strife.
Living in South Asia Agriculture is the most common occupation in South Asia, with most people practicing subsistence farming. In the Himalayan highlands terracing is common, while in Sri Lanka large plantations dominate. Cash crops include tea, rubber, coconuts, cotton, and jute. The region also is a major producer of rice. Since the 1960s the green revolution has increased yields through modern technology and irrigation methods. Mining and fishing are important resources. Many people in South Asia work in light industry that grew out of the region's history of cottage industries. In addition to heavy industry, service industries and the high-technology sector have grown in recent years. Tourism also is important, although some countries regulate it to protect natural and cultural resources.
People and Their Environment Countries in South Asia practice sustainable management to manage their resources, including wildlife and forests, for their large populations. Access to clean water is a persistent problem throughout South Asia. Scientists are studying the region to find solutions to the problems of air pollution and devastation by storms. Other problems in the region include the continuing conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, nuclear proliferation, and internal problems such as religious conflicts and the legacy of the caste system.