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Diversification in Agriculture

Agriculture is the largest livelihood supporting field and it is renovating itself from a supply-driven to a demand-demand scenario. Consumer is increasingly demanding better quality, multiple choices, food safety and convenience. Modification is the key to convoke these changing demand patterns with supply, and more importantly, to act as an overall risk mitigant for the producer himself.

Diversification is also a key enabler for attaining sustainability, given the current on usage of water, Agriculture inputs and soil. The average land holding of farmers has been consistently declining over the last two decades, down by 20 per cent to 1.15 ha. The silver lining though, is that nearly two third of the total agriculture productivity today is of high value in nature, a definitive contract from green revolution.

Crop diversification impacts on two factors of smart agriculture; enhanced production i.e. legume and cereal crop production and increases resilience i.e. household income, food security and nutrition in rural areas.

From decades, farmers have used crop diversification to improve soils and increase profits, but recently farmers have found additional benefits for their employees. The social benefits of diversification have received relatively little attention while its agronomic and economic benefits are well known. Diversification includes rotating to other crops, double cropping and intercropping.

Two latest studies have been conducted recently. First one investigated the effect of multiple copping and crop rotation systems on farm employment.

Crop diversification depends upon the farm size, experience of farming, and wealth of asset, location of farm, access to agricultural experts, information of output prices, low transportation of cost and information access.

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