IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fpr/ifprid/727.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Diversification in Indian agriculture towards high-value crops: The role of smallholders

Author

Listed:
  • Birthal, Pratap Singh
  • Joshi, P.K.
  • Roy, Devesh
  • Thorat, Amit

Abstract

"Agricultural diversification towards high-value crops can potentially increase farm incomes, especially in a country like India where demand for high-value food products has been increasing more quickly than that for staple crops. Indian agriculture is overwhelmingly dominated by smallholders, and researchers have long debated the ability of a smallholder-dominated subsistence farm economy to diversify into riskier high-value crops. Here, we present evidence that the gradual diversification of Indian agriculture towards high-value crops exhibits a pro-smallholder bias, with smallholders playing a proportionally larger role in the cultivation of vegetables versus fruits. The observed patterns are consistent with simple comparative advantage-based production choices. The comparatively high labor endowments of the small farmers, as reflected in their greater family sizes, induce them to diversify towards vegetables. Although fruit cultivation is also labor intensive (as compared to cultivation of staples), fruits are relatively capital intensive, making them a less advantageous choice for smallholders who tend to have low capital endowments. Furthermore, both the probability of participation in fruit and vegetable cultivation as well as land allocation to horticulture decreases with the size of landholdings in India. Small or medium holders do not appear to allocate a greater share of land to fruits or vegetables. However, the share allocated to vegetables is significantly higher if the family size is bigger, while the reverse is true in the case of fruits." from Authors' Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Birthal, Pratap Singh & Joshi, P.K. & Roy, Devesh & Thorat, Amit, 2007. "Diversification in Indian agriculture towards high-value crops: The role of smallholders," IFPRI discussion papers 727, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:727
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ifpridp00727.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Birthal, Pratap S. & Jha, Awadhesh K. & Tiongco, Marites M. & Narrod, Clare A., 2009. "Farm-Level Impacts of Vertical Coordination of the Food Supply Chain: Evidence from Contract Farming of Milk in India," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 64(3).
    2. Mukherjee, Sanchita, 2010. "Crop diversification and risk: an empirical analysis of Indian states," MPRA Paper 35947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Birthal, Pratap S. & Joshi, P.K. & Chauhan, Sonia & Singh, Harvinder, 2008. "Can Horticulture Revitalise Agricultural Growth?," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 63(3).
    4. Mehta, Pradeep Kumar, 2009. "Micro-Level Decision for Area Shift in Favour of High-Value Crops: A Case of Horticultural Crops," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 22(2).
    5. Dasgupta, Suranjana & Bhaumik, Sankar K., 2014. "Crop Diversification and Agricultural Growth in West Bengal," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 69(1).
    6. Rao, P. Parthasarathy & Joshi, P.K., 2009. "Does Urbanisation Influence Agricultural Activities? A Case Study of Andhra Pradesh," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 64(3).
    7. Tin-chi Lin & Alícia Adserà, 2013. "Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(4), pages 553-584, August.
    8. Joshi, P.K., 2015. "Has Indian Agriculture Become Crowded and Risky? Status, Implications and the Way Forward," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(1).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    diversification; Smallholders; small farms; High value agriculture;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:727. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ifprius.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.