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Cropping Pattern Choice and Risk Mitigation in Flood Affected Agriculture: A Study of Assam Plains, India

Author

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  • Raju Mandal

    () (Department of Economics, Assam University)

Abstract

Farmers are usually exposed to considerable risk arising from shocks in production and price of crops. The former assumes special significance for farmers in the plains of Assam, India because every year large areas of the state come under the grip of floods that cause extensive damage to its crop growing sector. This paper attempts to explore how the farmers in the flood plains of Assam are trying to cope with flood induced production risks in terms of cropping pattern choice. It further examines whether such a coping mechanism has any contribution towards returns in the farms. The analysis of farm level survey data suggests that the farmers in the plains of Assam, who are affected by floods not only in terms of reduced time availability for cropping but also higher production risks due to varying timing, frequency and intensity of floods during a year, tend to diversify their cropping pattern more in order to minimize production risk associated with flood damages to crops. Farmers with better irrigation facility and access to institutional credit are found to be more successful in this strategy. Moreover, the farms with a diversified cropping pattern have been able extract more returns from farming.

Suggested Citation

  • Raju Mandal, 2014. "Cropping Pattern Choice and Risk Mitigation in Flood Affected Agriculture: A Study of Assam Plains, India," Working Papers 1403, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:1403
    as

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    File URL: http://www.shsu.edu/academics/economics-and-international-business/documents/wp_series/wp14-03_paper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshi, P.K. & Gulati, Ashok & Birthal, Pratap S. & Tewari, Laxmi, 2003. "Agriculture diversification in South Asia," MSSD discussion papers 57, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Gupta, R. P. & Tewari, S. K., 1985. "Factors Effecting Crop Diversification: An Empirical Analysis," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 40(3), July.
    3. Weiss, Christoph R. & Briglauer, Wolfgang, 2000. "Determinants and Dynamics of Farm Diversification," FE Working Papers 0002, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies.
    4. Birthal, P.S. & Jha, A.K. & Joshi, P.K. & Singh, D.K., 2006. "Agricultural Diversification in North Eastern Region of India: Implications for Growth and Equity," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 61(3), pages 1-13.
    5. Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "Crop switching as a strategy for adapting to climate change," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
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