For making the nation more prosperous using the blessed land and soil around the country as a vital tool we, the nation have to generate more employment in the sector along with proper productivity. This can happen with a dire need for crop diversification in the agriculture sector in India.
Crop diversification aims to give farmers in a particular location more options for growing a range of crops, allowing them to extend their production activities and reduce risk.
Crop diversification in India is often considered as a shift away from less profitable crops and toward more profitable crops.
It is a key economic growth factor. It is contingent, however, on the availability of diversification options and the farmers’ willingness to make use of them.
Diversification is a coping mechanism for risk aversion at the farm or micro-level in the traditional subsistence agricultural system, acting as insurance against bad climatic conditions and biotic and abiotic pressures.
Area allocation and crop mix are also influenced by special government programs. More crucially, both economic liberalization policies and the globalization process are imposing tremendous pressures on farmers’ area allocation decisions, primarily through their impact on input and product relative pricing.
Although all of the factors that influence farmers’ area allocation decisions are important, their relative importance varies significantly across farm groups and resource locations.
What does The Trend speak?
Speaking of the followed trend in India, diversification has occurred both across and within the crop, livestock, forestry, and fishery sectors.
Within agriculture, the share of output and employment in the non-crop sectors, i.e. animal husbandry, forestry, and fisheries, has been gradually increasing.
Thus, diversification is taking place in terms of moving away from crop production to other agricultural activities. More significant changes are taking place within the crop sector, as is evident from the changes in cropping pattern, shown later.
During the TE 1990-91, crop sector income totaled Rs 147221 crores (current prices), with agriculture and allied sectors accounting for over 75% of total income.
In TE 2002-03, this percentage dropped to about 65%. During the same time span, the livestock sector’s contribution increased to 25% from around 17%.
The compositional proportion of the fisheries sub-sector also increased, from Rs 5781 crores (2.92 percent) in 1990-91 to Rs 30000 crores (4.82 percent) in 2002-03.
In terms of the socioeconomic and environmental effects of crop pattern changes, Green Revolution technologies have fueled, among other things, a growing trend toward crop specialization and commercialization of agriculture.
Although the rise of commercialized agriculture has sparked new non-farm activities in rural areas and enhanced rural-urban growth relations, it has also eroded traditional inter-sectoral ties between the crop and livestock sectors.
Agriculture’s share of GDP in India is diminishing, as it is in every other economy. Increased agricultural revenue, expansion of non-crop sub-sectors within agriculture, faster development of non-food grain crops, and faster growth of superior cereals among food grains are all occurring, although the rate of change is slowing. Non-farm activities that boost growth are an important strategy.
This necessitates investments in rural infrastructure and skill development, as well as a rigorous review and adjustment of macro policies that influence the relative profitability of various sectors and, as a result, the nature and pace of diversification.