Trend and Pattern of Crop Diversification in Odisha
Based on secondary data, this chapter examines the trend and pattern of crop diversification at the state and regional levels. In view of the predominance of small landholdings in the state, the study further examines the association of small holders in the cultivation of high value crops (HVCs). It also outlines the recent policy initiatives taken up by the state government towards crop diversification. The findings of the study reveal a negative growth rate in the area under the cultivation of paddy, fibres and tobacco, and a positive growth rate in acreage under pulses, oilseeds, spices, vegetables, sugarcane and fruits at the state level during 2001-02 to 2009-10. Particularly, the trend growth rate in area under sugarcane and pulses was quite impressive during the period. At the regional level, the agro-climatically better-off region (coastal plain) does not show better performance in adaptation to commercial and high value crops. The growth in acreages under oilseeds, fibres, fruits, vegetables and sugarcane in this region lags behind other regions. The concentration of small holders is found to be higher in coastal plain as compared to other regions. The participation of small holders with varying degree across regions in crop diversification particularly with regard to fruits and vegetables is noteworthy. The recent policy initiatives taken by state government in raising crop diversity in the state is also noteworthy. However, these policies need to be implemented effectively by improving rural infrastructures and raising institutional support to small farmers who are found playing positive role in diversification process.