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Diversification: the Key to Better Livelihood Opportunities


Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1587-1599

Keywords : Cropping Pattern; Diversification; Food crops; non food crops;

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The agricultural sector in India is facing deceleration in growth and is posing a major challenge which is manifested through food inflation and lack of proper planning of crop management. The two major sources of growth in agriculture are area expansion and increase in productivity. These sources of growth have serious limitations. The scope of area expansion is limited due to the inelastic supply of land. Hence it is necessary to chalk out a strategy to improve production with the available technology and arable land .The traditional wheat paddy system which flourished and thrived during the Green Revolution is facing major roadblocks. Most of the states which adopted the traditional rice or wheat cropping systems are at present facing serious economic, social and ecological problems such as deceleration in productivity growth, fall in agricultural employment, over exploited ground water resources and decline in soil fertility. Intensive cultivation with chemical fertilizers has precipitated the problem of increased costs of cultivation and environmental pollution, and ground water depletion which have undermined the efforts to increase production. A study of the cropping patterns in India clearly brings out the diversification which is taking place in India from food crops to non food crops in certain regions especially in the southern and western states. This trend had been also triggered by the overexploitation of land for food crops under the Green Revolution. Over use of land has precipitated problems lowering of ground water table, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides leading to environmental pollution. Most of the areas which were productive during the Green Revolution are suffering from ‘technology fatigue’ and hence the diversification to nonfood crops is justified. The high value non - food crops are a viable option for farmers and are best suited to Indian climatic, soil and social conditions. The areas which are rain fed and where regular irrigation is lacking are engaged in the cultivation of non-food crops like pulses, oil seeds etc. Regularly irrigated farms are devoted to growing rice, wheat and coarse cereals. This is no doubt crucial for food security of our country.

Last modified: 2014-09-04 23:22:37