Abstract: The crop diversification is considered as an important pathway for agrarian
development. It means not just raising a greater variety of crops in a geographical limit over a
period of time but also a movement of resources from a low value agriculture to a high value
agriculture. The present study aims at examining the status of crop diversification in Odisha visa-vis the comparison between the coastal district Cuttack and southern tribal Kandhamal
district of the state. It is measured through Thiele’s Entropy Index (TEI) by considering gross
cropped area under eight varieties of crops through secondary data in the year 2015-16 and
the two districts have been scrutinized through primary investigation in the year 2018-19. The
variables irrigation, fertilizer, high yielding variety seeds, credit, income from agriculture,
electricity used for agriculture, telecommunication and farm mechanisation like tractor/ power
tiller and statistical tool linear multiple regression have been employed to examine the
determinants of crop diversification.
Agriculture continues to remain the predominant sector of Indian economy particularly in the
backward states like Odisha. Among them 32.1 percent of the family are in Below Poverty Line
which seems their livelihood is insecure and they are in challenging and stressed situation.
About two-third of the state’s works force is still engaged in agriculture which provides them
livelihood directly or indirectly even though its share in gross state domestic product (GSDP)
has declined from over 70 per cent in the early 1950s to 15.39 per cent in the year 2014-15.
The catastrophes, inconsistence of monsoon, climate change risks such as flood, drought
which leads to insufficient production of various agricultural products and fluctuation of prices
arises owing to inconsistent and become a matter of concern now a day (Birthal and Hazarana,
2019) and it is expected that extreme calamities events rise in future scenario (World Bank,
2013). Under this backdrop, what seems paramount to raise productivity and sustainable
agriculture in Odisha’s context is to rely heavily on crop diversification. Diversification of
agriculture may help to overcome these overriding problems of state’s agriculture.
Crop diversification is essential for agriculture based economy in the current scenario. It
is defined as movement of production-portfolio from a low-value commodity to high-value
commodity making a shift from traditional to commercial crops (Joshi et al., 2004). Diversifying
the farm activities helps to mitigate both the climatic risks as well as price risks. Crop rotation
and diversification were practiced in farming to control weeds, pest and soil erosion, and to
maintain soil fertility. Crop diversification aids in adapting with consumption pattern. Food
consumption patterns change noticeably, as consumers in developing countries become richer
(Joshi, 2010). People move away from a diet based on staples to one with a greater content of
animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy and fruits and vegetables. Diversifying from the
monoculture of traditional staple crops can have important nutritional benefits which benefits in
food security as well as nutritional security (Lin, 2011). Diversification of agriculture in favour of
more competitive and high-value enterprises is considered as an important strategy to augment
farm income, generate employment, alleviate poverty and conserving the ecological biodiversity
and aiding sustainable agricultural transformation (Pingali and Rosegrant 1995, Von Braun,
1995; Joshi et al., 2004; Birthal et al. 2015; King and Hofmockel, 2017; Thapa et al. 2017;
Birthal and Hazrana 2019). Diversification in agriculture has tremendous impact on agro socioeconomic and uplifting of resource for poor farming communities. It generates income and
employment for rural youth for the ultimate benefits of the farmers in the country (Singh, 2009).
Developing country farmers have had considerable success by diversifying crops that can meet
export market demand.
Determinants of diversification have several forces to influence the nature and speed of
agricultural diversification from staple food to high value commodities. Studies by Joshi et al.
(2004) and Rao et al. (2006) have observed that production of high-value commodities is
demand-driven, determined mainly by rising income and urbanisation. Hazra (2001) has
enlisted other determinants of crop diversification, viz. resource related factors like rainfall,
irrigation, fertilizers; technology related factors like High Yielding Variety (HVY) seeds,
household related factors like education, income from agriculture; institution related factors like
credit, insurance, Minimum Support Prices (MSP), and infrastructure related factors like
electricity, telecommunication facilities, road and markets.
The study has attempted
To measure the level of crop diversification in all districts of Odisha.
To examine the status and compare the level of diversification between Cuttack and
To explore the determinants of crop diversification in the study area.
The limitation of the study is that the present study is made on the available of primary data
to examine the determinants of crop diversification where could not covered the variables like
agro-climatic zone, soil fertility, rainfall, road connectivity, Minimum Support Price (MSP),
marketing facility, education of the farmer and cold storages, food processing units and agrobased industries etc.
In this section an attempt has been made to describe the different as aspects of the
methodology adopted in the present study.
Data and Sample Design
The study has been based on both primary data and secondary data. The secondary data has
been collected from various sources like Agricultural Statistics of Odisha and Economic
Surveys. The primary data has been collected from two districts of Odisha i.e. Cuttack district
and Kandhamal district. In the Cuttack district, the data has been collected mainly from two
Gram Panchayats (GP) consists of four villages. One is Govindpur G.P. which consisting of two
villages named Biswanathpur, and Jariapda and other is Salagaon G.P. which consisting of
Salagaon and Nakhara villages of Tangi- Chaudwar block. In Kandhamal district, has been
collected from Balaskumpa and Gudari Gram Panchayat of Khajuripada Block. Primary
investigation data has been collected from the households through structured questionnaire. To
examined the status of crop diversification of Odisha i.e. district wise, secondary data has been
used in the year 2015-16. In the primary study, total sixty numbers respondents were taken
from both Cuttack and Kandhamal district each having thirty numbers of farmer’s household in
the year 2018-19. Both purposive sampling and random sampling technique has been used to
select the samples in this study.
Chinmaya Ranjan Kumar
Doctoral Fellow (UGC-NET-JRF) in Rural Development, Department of Economics,
Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha, India