American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry
Volume 1, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages: 40-47
Received: Aug. 12, 2013;
Published: Sep. 30, 2013
Views 2691 Downloads 143
Soumitra Chatterjee, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics, AICRP on IFS, BCKV, Kalyani, India
Manabendra Ray, Assosciate Professor in Agronomy, AICRP on IFS, BCKV, Kalyani, India
Pallabendu Halder, Senior Research Fellow in Agronomy, AICRP on IFS, BCKV, Kalyani, India
Rupak Goswami, Assistant Professor, IRDM Faculty Centre, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Narendrapur, Kolkata, India
This paper seeks to characterize and evaluate predominant farming systems in economic terms across all agro-climatic zones of West Bengal, India as well as to assess the extent of crop diversification among different size classes. A multi-stage random sampling method followed by a farm survey with structured interview schedule revealed that farming community of all size classes intended to shift from their traditional rice based cropping system to more income generating systems like fruits, vegetables, livestock, plantation, spices and piggery based sub-systems in Hilly tract, fibre and vegetables based systems in Terai and Old Alluvium regions, vegetables based systems in New Alluvial, sugarcane and vegetable based systems in Lateritic Red Soil zone and fishery, oilseeds and plantation (betel vine) based systems in the Coastal belt of the state. The extent of crop diversification was maximum among small and marginal farmers and a strong and continued shift towards vegetables and orchard crop was observed. The farmers across all regions consciously invested water and inputs in fruits and vegetables to achieve greater return in comparison to rice and other agronomic crops. Jute crop, despite of its oddities with price, was more of agronomic compulsion, which was visible in Terai and Old Alluvium tract. Jute rendered more benefits with vegetables than rice in the same piece of land. Despite of several odds in the problematic Lateritic Red Soil region of the state, sugarcane was identified as predominant crop with good economic return. Livestock rearing was also on the rise along with fishery in the problematic Coastal Saline belt. This has been a welcome shift and diversification of farm enterprise. With gradual departure from rice and other cereals and shift favouring vegetables, orchard, livestock and fishery enterprises farm families have better productivity and remuneration per unit of land and might provide employment opportunity with less gestation.
Economic Characterization of Predominant Farming Systems in West Bengal, India, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry.
Vol. 1, No. 3,
2013, pp. 40-47.
FAO. 1990. Farming Systems Development: Guidelines for the conduct of a training course in Farming Systems Development. Rome, Italy.
Dixon, J., Gulliver, A., Gibbon, D. 2001. Farming systems and poverty: improving farmers' livelihoods in a changing world. Rome: FAO.
Chambers, R., Pacey, A., Thrupp, L.A. 1989. Farmer first: farmer innovation and agricultural research, London: Intermediate Technology Publications.
Ojiem, J., Ridder, N., Vanlauwe, B., Giller, K.E. 2006. Socio-ecological niche: a conceptual framework for integration of legumes in smallholder farming systems. International Journal of Agric. Sustainability. 4(1), 79–93.
Ganpat, W., Bekele, I. 2001. Looking for the trees in the forest: farm typology as a useful tool in defining targets for extension. In: Emerging Trends in Agricultural and Extension Education (J.R. Lindner, ed.), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education. 4-7 Arpil 2001, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Timothy, W.O. 1994. Identifying target groups for livestock improvement research: The classification of sedentary livestock producers in western Niger. Agricultural Systems. 46, 227–237.
Vanclay, J.K. 2005. Using a typology of tree-growers to guide forestry extension. Annals of Tropical Research. 27(1), 97–103.
Tittonell, P., Muriukid, A., Shepherde, K.D., Mugendif, D., Kaizzig, K.C., Okeyoa, J., Verchote, L., Coee, R., Vanlauwea, B. 2010. The diversity of rural livelihoods and their influence on soil fertility in agricultural systems of East Africa – A typology of smallholder farms. Agricultural Systems. 103 (2), 83-97.
Goswami, R. 2007. Understanding farmer-to-farmer communication within the Sustainable Rural Livelihood framework. Thesis PhD, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Department of Agricultural Extension, West Bengal, India.
Mehta, R. 2009. Rural livelihood diversification and its measurement issues: focus India. Wye City Group on statistics on rural development and agriculture household income, Second Meeting, at FAO HQ, Italy, Rome, 11-12 June 2009. Available at www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/ess/pages/rural/wye_city_group/2009/
De, U.K. 2000. Diversification of Crop in West Bengal: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis, Artha Vijnana, 42: 170-182.
Bagchi, B. D., S. B. Roy, W. M. H. Jaim and Hossain, M. 2012. Diversity, spatial distribution, and the process of adoption of improved rice varieties in West Bengal, In: M. Hossain, W.M.H. Jaim, T.R. Paris and B. Hardy (Editors) Adoption and diffusion of modern rice varieties in Bangladesh and eastern India. IRRI, Philippines, pp 31-44.
Vyas, V. S. 2001. Agriculture: second round of economic reforms, Economic and Political Weekly, 36: 829-836.
De, U.K. 2003. Economics of crop diversification. Akansha Pub. House, New Delhi.
Joshi, P.K., A. Gulati and R. Cummings Jr. 2007. Agricultural Diversification and Smallholders in South Asia. Academic Foundation, New Delhi, India.