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A Study of Crop Dynamics and Diversification in West Bengal: 1980-81 to 2004-05

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  • Sumana Mukherjee

Abstract

The study focuses on the changes that have taken place in the overall agrarian scenario of West Bengal over the period 1980-81 to 2004-05. Agricultural diversification as a neoliberal strategy to shift the dynamics of crop pattern and crop orientation, seems to have gained huge significance since early 1990s. West Bengal having distinct physio-geographic zones, constitutes a suitable region for the growth of diversified crops. The changing market conditions in the wake of economic liberalization have provided new incentives to farmers to go for crop experimentation and changes in area allocation. However, an analysis of area, production and yield of different crops over the period (in terms of growth and instability) suggests that shifts in area from food crops to non-food crops have been slow, with growth rates declining on the whole in the post-liberalization period, with definite exceptions in the case of certain non-food crops. Diversification achieved in the state is largely at the cost of growinger-district and interregional disparities. The overall stabilizing effect of the growth resurgence in West Bengal’s agriculture during the 1980s has reached a saturation point. The study points to a number of constraints to diversification including technological backwardness, poor infrastructure, non-remunerative marketing channels and sluggish growth of input-delivery system.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumana Mukherjee, 2010. "A Study of Crop Dynamics and Diversification in West Bengal: 1980-81 to 2004-05," The IUP Journal of Agricultural Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(3), pages 51-74, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:icf:icfjag:v:07:y:2010:i:3:p:51-74
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