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INTRODUCTION

Crop intensification and crop diversification are the budge words in agricultural
scenario at the national and international level. During the period of green revolution
when there was a need of enhancing total food grain production, emphasis was given
on increasing the cropping intensity and crop productivity but in long term, this
approach digressed from the principles of crop production where the basics of crop
rotation and crop sequences play an important role.
Under such situations, approach of diversification has been envisaged as a new
strategy towards enhancing and stabilizing productivity, making Indian agriculture
export competitive and increasing net farm income and economic security. Agriculture
and crop diversification is now almost a normal feature of stable agriculture and
progressive farm management in most of the extensive agricultural parts of the world
(Joshi et al., 2004).
Research findings suggest that crops or enterprises get diversified in one or
other way, even without any scientific recommendations (Sharma et al., 2002). The
magnitude of agricultural diversification shows the impact of physical, socio-
economic and techno-organizational influents. Thus, diversification in its totality is a
dynamic, continuous process to adjust changing circumstances.
Therefore, in changing agricultural scenario, crop diversification is one of the
ways towards meeting challenges of food, environmental and economic security of
nation and achieving the sustainable agricultural development.

INDIAN AGRICULTURE SCENARIO

Net Cultivated Area : 141 m ha


Irrigated Area : 56 m ha (40%)
Rainfed/Dryland Area : 85 m ha (60%)
TOTAL FOOD GRAIN PRODUCTION
(219 m tonnes)

KHARIF (Area: 74 m ha) RABI (Area: 50 m ha)


116 million tones 103 million tonnes
CROP DIVERSIFICATION:
2.1) CONCEPT OF CROP DIVERSIFICATION

 A shift of a crop or cropping system to another crop or cropping system.


 Use of resources in best possible way by changing and modifying the degree, trend
and time options of crop/cropping activities.
 Shifts from less profitable and sustainable crop or cropping system to more profitable
and sustainable crop/cropping system.
 Diversification of cropping system generally termed as the desirable change in the
existing system towards more balanced cropping system to meet ever increasing
demand of food, feed, fibre and fuel on one hand, and maintenance of soil fertility and
agro-ecosystem on the other. The introduction of high potential and efficient cropping
systems suing diversification concept not only the productivity and profitability of the
system can be enhanced but it may also be sustained and soil fertility maintained over
time.

2.2) NEED OF CROP DIVERSIFICATION

Crop diversification has become an important option to attain several objectives Viz.
 Natural resources sustainability : Crop diversification maintained the natural
resources with out any degradation
 Ecological balance
 Output growth,
 Buffer stocks,
 Employment generation,
 Risk coverage: Crop diversification reduced risk of crop failure .
Thus, the necessity for crop diversification arises on account of the need
for-

 Reducing risks associated with yield, market and prices,


 Arresting the degradation of natural resources and environment and
 Attaining the national goals like self-reliance in critical crop products, earning foreign
exchange and employment generation.
2.3) DETERMINANTS OF CROP DIVERSIFICATION

Number of factors governs nature and speed of crop diversification.


 Resource endowments:
● Agro climatic conditions
● Soil
● Labour
● Facility of irrigation
 Technological factors: Developments of thermo/photo insensitive crop varieties,
facilitates crop diversification. Availability of storage and processing technology also
determines crop diversification. Irrigation through drip or sprinkler facilitates
diversification of fruits and vegetables.
 House hold factors: need for fodder, fuel and other requirements affect crop
diversification. Changing food consumption pattern is favouring non-cereal crops.
 Institutional and infrastructural factors: farm, buildings, tenancy research,
marketing system, government regulatory polices. Delivery system of inputs, credit
also decides cropping in particular area.
 Price factors: An input/output price, trade polices of government and relative price
of a community, decides nature and extends of crop diversification.

2.4) The important facts highlighting the need of crop


diversification in India:
 For raising farm income: Diversification raise the farm income by using a
cropping system which give good price in market.
 Sustainable production and income; Diversification sustain crop production &
farm income .
 Food and nutrient security.
 Promotion of export;
 Employment generation.
 Poverty alleviation.: Diversification generate which is reduce poverty
 Judicious use of land and water resources; In crop diversification include the
crop rotation or crop sequence they use land & water resources at proper way
without any degradation
 Reduction in environmental pollution.

The important crop diversification approaches in rainfed areas of India

 Crop diversification under assured irrigation situations.

 Crop diversification under water scarce conditions.

 Crop diversification for nutrient management.

2.5) REQUIRED STEPS FOR DIVERSIFICATION


 Delineate area: Scientific data base priorities and target the area.
 Choice of alternative crops and technology: Choice a alternative crop & technology
instead of traditional & less profitable crop
 Priority Input / credit supply for alternative crops.
 Share the risk of new system.
 Market support - Rural uplinking.
Table 1: Issues and functions provided by diversification in dryland regions.

Issues Functions provided by diversification


Increased yield, reduce intra seasonal variation and improved
Productivity and
stability through diverse components viz., crop, tree, plant
stability
and animal.
High risk and Risk and cost minimization through yield and income from
high cost annual and perennial mixtures.
Unabated land Minimization of kinds, effect and extent of land degradation
degradation by appropriate land care through alternate land use system.
Inadequate
Staggered employment round the year.
employment
Low profitability High components income generation from various area.
Poor energy
Energy efficient implements.
management

RAU, (Bikaner) Hegde et al., (2003)

Source: Agril. Situ. Rule. 255-272.


Hegde et al., (2003) Studied the issues and function provided by diversification in dry land
region & they show that this issues / problems can be solved by diversification.

2.6) Key determining factors: Farmers Angle


Before a farmer moving toward a new crop or cropping system. They
determines following factors.

 Profit margin of new system as compare to the traditional crop / existing cropping
system.

 Availability of market for produce

 Ease of operation / cultivation / storage

 Risk factor / technology available

 Other compelling reasons to shift for a new system

 Incentive, if any.

2.7) Over all strategies for crop diversification

 Diversion of high water requiring crops to less water intensive crops in the dry land
areas .
 Diversion of cotton to pulses, oilseeds and maize in light textured and shallow
soil for efficient use of land resource.
 Replacement of low yielding low value coarse cereals to high yielding high value
crops like pulses for increasing the total farm income.
 Inter cropping or mixed cropping be promoted in dry areas to reduce risk of crop
failure .
 Shift high risk crops with short duration pulses and drought resistant oilseeds
crops in a dry lands area.
DIVERSIFIED AGRICULTURE

Mix
Farming
Animal Sericulture
Husbandry

Food grain
Crops
Horticulture Forestry

Floriculture

This flowchart shows that the low yielding food grain crops get diversified through
the mix farming, sericulture, forestry, floriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry etc. to
increase the net farm income.

Table 2: Crop wise area in Maharashtra state (Agronomical crops)

Crop and Area in ’00 ha Change


crops in area
component 98-99 01-02 04-05 06-07 (%)
Jowar (k.) 2385 1768 1383 673 -71.78
Bajara (k.) 9206 8556 7999 7701 -16.34
Small millets 193 113 129 123 -36.26
Total pulses (k.) 7523 7152 6789 5834 -22.45
Rabi jowar 663 622 441 545 -17.79
Total rabi pulses 887 1468 515 1264 42.50
Groundnut (k.) 18149 18131 18507 19245 6.03
Groundnut (s.) 887 1277 370 605 -31.79
Sesame 2497 3007 3796 3719 48.93
Castor 3881 3483 3047 3305 -14.84
Cotton 14104 16585 17498 19063 35.16
Wheat 6060 7014 4701 7274 20.03
Tobacco 1218 1037 855 713 -41.46
Directorate of Agriculture,
This table shows crop wise area in Maharashtra state during 1998-99, 2005-06, and it is
observed that area under Jowar (K) , Bajra (K), Groundnut (S), and Small millets was
decreased and area under rabi pulses, cotton and wheat increases. .

Table 3 State wise crop diversification in context to weather

Weather Traditional Proposed crops to be


State
constraints crops grown taken

Droughts, high Banana, sugarcane,


Tamil Nadu Rice, pulses
temperature onion
Maize, sesame, castor,
Droughts, Upland paddy,
intercropping sugarcane,
Gujarat High coarse cereals,
soybean, vegetables,
temperature Cereals
horticultural crops.
Oilseeds, soybean,
Droughts, high Paddy, coarse horticultural crops,
Maharashtra
temperature cereals, cotton medicinal plants and
flori culture.

Sources:Gov. of India, Dept. of Agril. and Co. Office of Agril. Commissioner, July, 2003.
Department of Agriculture , Government of India suggest the cropwise diversification in
concerto weather constraints and for Maharashtra state proposed crop to taken like Oilseeds,
soybean, horticultural crops, medicinal plants and flori culture

Table 4 Crop diversification programme


Unit: (000’ ha)

Increase in Increase in Increase in


Year
Maize area Pulses area Oilseed area

2002-03 15.92 134.96 104.04


2003-04 20.97 205.44 125.59
2004-05 27.67 226.08 151.38
2005-06 53.59 261.20 192.02

Increase compared
236% 94% 86%
to 2002-03

New Delhi Singh (2006)


Source : Indian Jn. of Agronomy :49 (4): 186-193.
Singh S.L. (2006). Studied crop diversification during year 2002-03 to 2005-06. and
observed that increase in maize area about 236% pulse area 94% and oil seed area 86% as
compare to area in 2002-03.

Table 5 Area changes from food grain to non food grain crops (million hectares)

Crop/crops
1952-53 1964-65 1985-86 2004-05
component
Oilseeds 11.20 15.14 17.42 26.23
Cotton 6.27 8.00 8.02 9.11
Jute+Mesta 0.76 1.24 1.26 1.08
Sugarcane 1.79 2.36 2.79 4.05
Tobacco 0.34 0.42 0.43 0.471
Coconut 0.65 0.82 1.07 1.831
Potato 0.25 0.42 0.74 1.261
Others 14.24 11.39 13.67 22.67
Total 35.50 39.90 45.40 66.70
Govt. of India (2005)
Source: Agril. Stat. at a glance. Directorate of Econ. And Stat., Ministry of Agri. New Delhi.

Table shows the area changes from food grain to non food grain crops (million
hectares) during pre-green revolution period, green revolution period and post-green
revolution period. It is observed that area under non food grain changes vigorously during the
post green revolution period. Out of other food grains area under oilseeds was changes
considerably i.e. from 17.42 to 26.23.
Table6: Food grain production: Targets and achievement (Million Tonnes)
2001-2002 2007-2008
Item
% of % of
Achieve- Achieve-
Target achieve- Target achieve
ment ment
ment ment
Rice 92 92 100 93 94 101
Wheat 78 71 91 78 74.81 95.91
Coarse 33 35 106 33 36.07 109.3
cereal
Pulses 15 14 93.3 16 14.44 90.25
Total 218 211 96.7 220 219.3 99
Food
grains
Pooled 96.8 99

Source: Tenth plan data and ministry of agriculture


From this table it is observed that per cent achievement of food grain production was
increase during 2007-08 i.e. 99% as compare to the 2001-02 i.e. 96.8.

3.1) DIVERSIFICATION OF PEARL MILLET BASED CROPPING SYSTEMS:


Table 7: High productivity crops (Pearl millet equivalent yield) for irrigated conditions
of anrid and semi-arid eco-systems.
Khrif Rabi Summer
Yield (kg/ha) Yield (kg/ha) Yield (kg/ha)
Crops average Potential Crops average Potential Crops average Potential
Northwest Gujarat
GCH 4 7505 10328 GM2 mustard 4431 5445 GG2
castor groundnut
GM2 2114 2842 K. Badshah 9331 11089 GHB 235 2730 3104
greengram potato pearl
millet
G1 1359 2338 SKN 1 3657 3657 GM2 2729 3676
clusterbean amaranthus greengram
Western Haryana
HS 6 cotton 6252 7981 PBW 343 5526 7286 African 4304 5280
wheat tall
maize
(F)
Manak 4010 4010 K. Bahar 9339 10706 CS 88 3637 4200
Pigeonpea potato cowpea
fodder
PK 416 2496 3410 Jayanti 5337 2395 K 851 2799 2799
soybean pea greengr
am

The average yield of existing pearl millet is estimated to be 1500 kg/ha.


Source: Indian forming (2005) May pp. 17-21.

In north-wet zone of Gujarat, crops viz. castor, greengram and cluster bean are the better
choices to replace pearl millet on considering both average and potential yield. However,
castor is the best choice to replace pearl millet during kharif for multifold increase in
equivalent yield (5-fold higher). In rabi, a crop of potato mustard and amaranths are the
better choices in the order of merit. Similarly, in summer crops viz. groundnut, greengram
and pearl millet (for fodder and grain) are the better crops for introduction at large scale to
diversity existing systems.In western parts of Haryana, instead of existing pearl millet, cotton,
pigonpea and soybean are the better choice during kharif which are capable of producing high
yield with higher productivity. In rabi, potato, wheat and pea are the good choices in order of
merit. Similarly, maize or cowpea for fodder and greengram for grain are the very good
choices during summer.
3.2)
Table 8: Impact of HYVs of pearl millet on area, production and productivity in India
Area (Million ha) Production (Mill. t) Productivity(kg/ha)
Table Pre- Post- Pre- Post- Pre- Post-
HYV HYV HYV HYV HYV HYV
Rajasthan 4.13 4.28 0.87 2.54 188 470
Maharashtra 1.73 1.58 0.47 1.02 270 646
Gujarat 1.57 0.99 0.58 1.09 370 1125
U. P. 1.07 0.82 0.57 1.03 534 1240
Haryana 0.78 0.56 0.25 0.59 315 1131
Karnataka 0.62 0.32 0.31 0.17 505 516
A. P. 0.51 0.10 0.29 0.10 593 1047
T. N. 0.51 0.16 0.12 0.23 234 1448
M. P. 0.19 0.15 0.11 0.16 597 1091
India 11.32 9.03 3.67 6.67 324 730

Pre-HYV=1955-66, Post-HYV=2000-03 ICAR Winter School, 2004

Table shows impact of HYVs of pearl millet on area, production and productivity in
India and it observed that area under the post HYV in Gujarat is less as compare to pre HYV
although production and productivity is high under post HYV.
4.1) CASTOR- BASED INTERCROPPING SYSTEMS UNDER DRYLAND
CONDITIONS.

CASTOR IN CROP DIVERSIFICATION SCENARIO

o It is an important non edible oil seed crop, earns valuable foreign exchange.
o High yield potential under irrigated conditions (30- 35q/ha).
o Also higher yield potentials under dry lands.
o Economically remunerative crop as compare to existing crop sequences.
o Suitable for crop rotation and maintenance of fertility as castor posses long tap root
system.

Table 9: Yield, monetary returns and benefit: cost ratio of castor- based
intercropping systems under dryland conditions.

Mean yield (kg/ha) Mean


(1995 to 2002) Monetary Benefit:
Treatment
Main Returns cost ratio
Inter crop (Rs/ha)
crop
Sole castor 653 - 8496 1.60
Castor+Mothbean(1:2) 580 48 7960 1.81
Castor+Ridgegourd 581 1918 13312 2.13
Castor+Bittergourd 536 229 7426 1.76
Castor+Smoothgourd 531 242 7877 1.73
Castor+Clusterbean 546 1171 15308 1.97
Castor+Dolichos lablab 524 - 6809 1.52

CD (P= 0.05) 3552


Prices (Rs/q): castor seed, 1300; moth bean, 1500; ridge gourd, 400; bitter gourd, 400;smooth
gourd, 400; cluster bean, 700.

Koli et al., (2004)


Place: Solapur (Maharashtra)
Source: Indian Jn. of Agronomy. 49(3): 154-156.
Koli et al., (2004) studied yield, monetary returns and benefit: cost ratio of castor-
based intercropping systems under dry land conditions. It shows that Castor + Cluster bean
treatment is statistically significant that of other treatments in mean monetary returns (Rs/ha)
ie 15308 Rs/ha.and treatment Castor+Ridgegourd gives the highest Benefit: cost ratio as
compare to other treatments i.e. 2.13.
5.1) Crop diversification to enhance rice productivity in rice based cropping systems
Table 10: Comparative performance of rice- cereal and rice-legume rotations.
Crop sequences Average yield (kg/ha) Net returns
Kharif Rabi (Rs./ha)
Karjat
Rice-maize 3596 2955 7877
Rice-groundnut 3522 2446 17373
Thajavur
Rice-rice 5836 5442 13195
Rice-groundnut 5763 2460 23087
Chiplima
Rice-wheat 4946 1467 7266
Rice-groundnut 4955 1982 17243
Kanpur
Rice-wheat 3614 2560 10215
Rice-Chick pea 3796 1803 12310

Source: Indian farming (2005) sep.pp:8-10.

The studies under cropping project have conclusively established that in many areas crop
sequence involving rice and leguminuous crops can be more remunerative and easily compete
with crop sequences involving cereals alone . At karjat and Thanjavur (coastal eco-system),
and Chiplima (sub-humid eco-system) a substantial increase in net returns (120.75 and 137%
respectively ) was observed, if rabi cereals were substituted with groundnut. While at Kanpur
(semi-arid eco-system ) this increase was 21% with rice-chickpea over rice-wheat system.
5.2)
Table 11: Example of partial crop diversification in rice-wheat system
(rice equivalent yield, q/ha)

Pooled
2000-
Cropping system 1995-96
01 Rainy Winter Summer Total

Rice-wheat 78.3 81.2 46.3 33.5 -- 79.8


Rice-wheat-green
86.3 89.7 48.7 48.3 34.3 5.4
gram
Rice-berseem 110.0 113.8 48.2 63.6 -- 112.3
Rice-potato-green
126.3 135.9 55.9 61.9 19.4 131.1
gram
Rice-Indian
94.4 100.9 47.9 30.9 18.8 97.6
mustard
CD (p=0.05) 6.63 9.89 1.56 6.58 2.67 7.50
Sharma and Sharma (2002)
Source: Indian Jn. Of Agronomy . 47 (1):6-11.

Price (Rs/q): rice grain 800, rice straw 20, wheat grain 550, wheat straw 50, berseem 40,
potato tuber 200, Indian mustard grain 1200, Indian mustard Stover 20, green gram 1200.

Sharma and Sharma (2002) studied example of partial crop diversification in rice-
wheat system (rice equivalent yield, q/ha) and they observed that Rice-potato-green gram
cropping system is significantly superior for year 1995-96, 1996-97 and for pooled analysis
as compare to other cropping systems.
6) DIVERSIFICATION OF MAIZE-BASED CROPPING SYSTEMS

Table 12: Efficient alternative cropping systems.

Cropping systems Productivity Profitability Resource-use ability


(N P K doses, kh/ha) Average yield (t/ha)
K R S Total System Net Economic Nutrient-use Irrigation
MEY productivity returns efficiency productivity 9kg water use
(t/ha/year) (kg/ha//day) (Rs/ha/Y (RS/ha/day) grain / kg of productivity
ear) nutrients) (kg/ grain/ ha-
cm water)
Maize-lentil 2.41 1.17 5.56 15.22 15661 42.91 23.64 123.47
(100:50:25) (20:40:0)
Soybean -wheat 2.13 2.31 7.19 13.06 13279 36.38 24.39 143.88
(20:60:40) (100:50:25)
Groundnut- wheat 0.95 2.36 5.73 15.69 16127 44.18 20.83 114.56
(25:50:25 )(100:50:25)
Maize-potato 2.35 18.00 10.44 28.57 27425 75.14 21.99 153.57
(100:50:25)
(120:80:100)

Source: Indian farming (2006) Sept. pp;20-24.

In central and northern zone of maize-potato, soybean wheat and groundnut-wheat proved to
be better systems intend of existing maize-lentil system. However, maize-potato system was
the best giving highest maize equivalent yield of 10.4 t/ha/year, productivity of 28.6
kg/ha/day, net returns of Rs.27425 /ha/year and economic efficiency of Rs.75.1/ha/day and
153.6 kg grain / ha cm of water. But in terms of nutrient-use productivity soybean- wheat
system gave highest nutrient-use productivity of 24.4 kg grain /kg of nutrient used.

7)
Crop Diversification In Rainfed Upland Rice Ecosystem For Eastern Regions
Table:13 Economic yield and rice equivalent yield (t/ha) of crop diversification trial
during kharif 2004-05.
Crop diversification Grain yield Rice equivalent Net returns
(kg/ha) yield (kg/ha) (Rs/ha)
Rice alone (Navven) 2800 2800 5350
Pigeonpea (UPAS 120) 1250 6250 15500
Groundnut alone (AK12-24) 1600 6400 15100
Blackgram alone (T9) 950 2850 10550
Rice + pigeonpea (4:1) 1800+950 3068 10250
Rice + groundnut (4:1) 1950+1200 2719 16700
Rice + Blackgram (4:1) 2150+750 2177 12800
Groundnut + pigeonpea (4:1) 1450+950 5443 17700
Groundnut + blackgram (4:1) 1051+450 3470 13200

Source: Indian farming (2008)Feb.pp4-7.

It is revealed that rice substitution with low-duty crops like pigeonpea and groundnut
were found more advantageous and sustainable than traditional system of mono-cropping
rice.
8.1) RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

 Instead of practicing same system year after year on same piece of land . It is always
desirable to change the crops and cropping system in certain years.
 The choice of crops or cropping system depending upon price, soil fertility and pest
build up will be desirable. The change is helpful in breaking down the cycle of pest
build up and monotomy of weeds etc.
 Synthesize or decide the most suitable system on considering productivity.
profitability and efficiency of resource use in the system and not merely on
considering the production only.
 Choice of suitable variety is very important to fit in the system with high productivity.
In general, quick growing crop varieties short in duration that fit well in the system
needs to be selected.
 Under the diversified intensive system of cropping, contingent planning is also
important. Therefore, suitable adjustments should to be made as per emerging needs
and prospects.

8.2) CONSTRAINTS IN CROP DIVERSIFICATION

1) Over 117 m.ha (63 percent) of the cropped area in the country is completely
dependent on rainfall.
2) Sub-optimal and over-use of resources.
3) Inadequate supply of seeds and plants of improved cultivars.
4) Fragmentation of land holding less favoring modernization and mechanization of
agriculture.
5) Market aviability for a new crop.
6) Poor basic infrastructure like rural roads, power, transport, communication etc.
7) Inadequate post-harvest technologies.
8) Very weak agro-based industry.
9) Weak research - extension - farmer linkages.
10) Decreased investments in the agricultural sector over the years.
8.3) GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR CROP
DIVERSIFICATION

 Implementing National Agriculture Insurance Scheme.


 Operationalzing Technology Mission on Cotton.
 Provision of Capital Subsidy of 25 percent for Construction / Modernization /
Expansion of Cold Storages and Storages for Horticultural Produce.
 Creation of Watershed Development Fund.
 Strengthening Agricultural Marketing.
 Seed Crop Insurance.
 Seed Bank Scheme.
9) CONCLUSION

Crop diversification or crop shift is a new paradigm of sustainable agriculture. Crop


diversification is not only a shift from traditional and less remunerative crop (s) to more
remunerative crop (s) but it is a demand driven, need based situation specific and national
goal seeking continuous and dynamic concept and involves spatial, temporal, value addition
and resource complementary approaches. However, crop substitution and addition of more
crops in existing cropping system has been the major approach of diversification in India.
The nature of crop diversification is has been mainly from low value coarse cereals to high
value oilseeds and other food grains.

10) FUTURE THRUST:

 For diversification of any system, crops are not the bars. Therefore, inclusion of high
value cropsviz medicinal, aromatic, flowers, and vegetables needs to be evaluated
through horizontal and vertical diversification approach.
 Instead of random selection of crops for any systems there is a need to synthesize high
potential cropping system and evaluated both on station and on farm in farmers
participatory approach.
 The crop varieties short in duration with high potential yield and most suited for the
synthesized systems needs to be identified.
 The location specific approaches and full packages need to be prepared for ready use
considering the resource availability.
 For arid and semi-arid areas, the crops and cropping systems which require limited
irrigation water and highly efficient in terms of nutrient use productivity and irrigation
water use productivity deserves to be preferred for long-term sustainability and gains.
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Dinesh Chandra, Gouranga Kar, PSB Anand, S Ghosh and N Sahoo(2008) Indian Farming
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CROP DIVERSIFICATION
FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

CONTENTS

1) Introduction

2) Concept, Need, Determination, Required steps and over all strategies for crop

diversification.

3) Diversification of pearl millet based cropping system

4) Castor based intercropping system under dryland condition.

5) Crop diversification to enhance rice productivity in rice based cropping system.

6) Diversification of maize based cropping system.

7) Crop diversification in rainfed upland.Rice ecosystem for eastern region .

8) Research activities, constraints, Govt. polices and stratiges for crop

diversification

9) Conclusion

10)Future thrust

11)References.