Traditionally, agricultural diversification is referred to a subsistence kind of farming wherein farmers were cultivating varieties of crops on a piece of land and undertaking several enterprises on their farm portfolio. Household food and income security were the basic objectives of agricultural diversification. In recent decades, agricultural diversification is increasingly being considered as a panacea for many ills in the agricultural development of the India.
Diversification at the farm level is supposed to increase the farm income; the utility of diversification as risk management practices however, remains. At the country level, diversification is supposed to increase the extent of self-sufficiency for the country. At the regional level, diversification is being promoted to mitigate negative externalities associated with monocropping
This study discusses factors responsible for agricultural diversification at different levels: country (India), state (Haryana) and farms of Kurukshetra district in Haryana. The study regressed alternate measures of diversification namely, the Simpson index and concentration of non-food crops, on several possible factors such as income, land distribution, irrigation intensity, institutional credit, road density, urbanization and market penetration.
The paper concludes by stating that the regression analysis suggests that increased road density, urbanization encourages commercialization of agriculture and with commercialization, farms in a region are increasingly specialized under certain crops and crop-groups as per the resource, infrastructure and institutions of the region.
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