Economic Characterization of Predominant Farming Systems in West Bengal, India
American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry
Volume 1, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages: 40-47
Received: Aug. 12, 2013; Published: Sep. 30, 2013
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Authors
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
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Abstract
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.
Keywords
Predominant Farming System, Economic Characterization, Crop Diversification, Economic Return
To cite this article
Soumitra Chatterjee, Manabendra Ray, Pallabendu Halder, Rupak Goswami, Economic Characterization of Predominant Farming Systems in West Bengal, India, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Vol. 1, No. 3, 2013, pp. 40-47. doi: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20130103.11
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