Year: 2016 | Month: June | Volume 3 | Issue 1
An economic analysis of crop diversification under inorganic and organic farming in West Bengal
Ranjan Kumar Biswas
The Indian food basket is diversifying in favour of high value food commodities like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, poultry products and fish products from staple food such as rice, wheat and coarse cereals since the nineties of the 20th century. This raises a challenge to Indian agriculture. On the other hand, dominance of chemical based mono-cropping results soil erosion, water contamination, pesticides poisoning, land degradation through water logging and soil salinity, depletion of bio-diversity, etc. This again raises another challenge to Indian agriculture. Organic farming system may generate such situation to address both the challenges mentioned above. So, attempt has been taken to find out the performance of organic farming, addressing the crop diversification at different level of farm sizes along with different crop growing seasons in West Bengal. To measure the extent and nature of crop diversification, Herfindahl Index (H.I.) and Modified Entropy Index (M.E.I.) have been worked out. The result showed that maximum crop diversification occurred in sub-marginal farms and small farms under inorganic and organic farming system, respectively. On the other hand, rabi season exhibited prominent crop diversification in both inorganic and organic farms due to comparative advantages of residual moisture availability in soil. The estimation highlighted that crop diversification facilitated higher cropping intensity followed by higher net farm income of small and marginal households in West Bengal. The analysis concluded that availability of market and price premium influenced more diversion of area towards vegetables, in organic farms.
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