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Diversification towards horticulture as a source of income and employment: a case study of West Bengal

Author: 
Debasis Mithiya, Kumarjit Mandal and Simanti Bandyopadhyay
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The cropping pattern in West Bengal has undergone a major change in the recent past, moving away from cereal to non-cereal crop cultivation. This shift has primarily been towards horticulture crops; influenced by the growth of technology, modernization, and changes in food habits. Horticulture has been one of the fastest-growing crop group within agriculture in India as well as in West Bengal. By using secondary data the share of cultivated area under different crops and crop group, growth rate of area under different crops and the various indices of crop diversification have been calculated. The crop concentration coefficient has also been calculated. The results indicate diversification towards horticulture in West Bengal. This paper has also assessed the impact of horticultural diversification on farm income and employment using farm level information from West Bengal. The results clearly reveal that horticulture production is more remunerative and labor-intensive, i.e., the gross return is much more in per hectare horticulture cultivation than that in cereals and pulses. Job opportunity is also high in case of horticulture cultivation as compared to others. Therefore, it fits well in the small farm production systems. The study also develops the econometric model like two stage least square (2SLS) regression to find the effects of crop diversification on employment and income by using secondary data.

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