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S. B. PATIL, PGS10AGR5185, Doctoral Seminar, AGR-691, Date : 25.11.2011, Time : 2.00 pm
In the changing agriculture scenario during globalization, agriculture in India has to face new challenges to compete at the global level in many agricultural commodities. Indian agriculture is now facing second generation problems like rising or lowering of water-table, occurrence of multi-nutrient deficiencies, soil degradation, salinity, build up of problematic weeds and resurgence of pests and diseases. Moreover, stagnation in system productivity and profitability and decline in soil productivity have been experienced in recent years in vast areas. Crop diversification shows lot of promise in alleviating these problems through cropping systems, integrated farming system and agroforestry, which results in fulfilling the basic needs and regulating the farm income, withstanding weather aberrations, ensuring food security, conserving natural resources, reducing chemical fertilizer and pesticide loads, environmental safety and employment generation (Reddy and Suresh, 2009). Crop diversification is a new paradigm of sustainable agriculture. In India, it is generally viewed as a shift of a crop or cropping system to another crop or cropping system, shift from traditional and less remunerative crop/cropping system to more remunerative and sustainable crop/cropping system. However, crop substitution and addition of more crops in existing cropping system has been the major approach of crop diversification in India. Crop diversification through cropping systems Bastia et al. (2008) reported that rice-maize-cowpea crop sequence found significantly higher system productivity in terms of rice equivalent yield (15.98 t/ha), sustainable yield index (0.85), water use efficiency (84.3 kg/ha-cm), employment generation, production efficiency and net returns (Rs. 40,420/ha) than other rice-based cropping system, which was followed by rice-maize-greengram system. However, land use efficiency was higher in rice-groundnut-cowpea and rice-groundnutgreengram system (91.96 and 90.96%, respectively). Walia et al. (2011) reported that maize-potatoonion gave significantly higher rice equivalent yield (31.98 t/ha), net returns (Rs. 1,65,576/ha) and production efficiency (Rs. 98.8/ha/day) than other cropping sequence and gave 19.1 t/ha addition yield over rice-wheat sequence. Kalpana et al. (2009) revealed that lablab-white gingelly-brinjal sequence registered the highest total cotton equivalent yield (12043 kg/ha) and system productivity (32.99 kg/ha/day) over other cropping sequences. Economic analysis revealed that, the maximum net income and benefit-cost ratio was under the maize-cowpea-tomato sequence followed by the other sequence into which vegetable crops were included. Potdar (2010) noticed that the intercropping systems, pigeonpea + sunflower at 6:1 row ratio recorded least pod damage (5.95%) and higher seed yield (1286 kg/ha), pigeonpea equivalent yield (1472 kg/ha), net returns (Rs. 20,643/ha) and benefit-cost ratio (3.43) than other intercropping systems, which was closely followed by pigeonpea + mesta at 6:1 row ratio. Marer et al. (2007) reported that intercrop of maize and pigeopea at 4:2 row ratio with 50 per cent pigeopea population resulted in maximum maize equivalent yield (8076 kg/ha), net returns (Rs.30,492/ha) and benefit-cost ratio (2.75) over other intercropping systems and sole crops. Crop diversification through integrated farming system (IFS) Channabasavanna and Biradar (2007) reported that integrated farming system recorded higher system productivity (15,555 kg/ha/year) and net returns (Rs. 48,603/ha/year) over conventional ricerice system (6667 kg/ha/year). Among the different models, rice-fish (pit at the centre of the field) -

poultry (reared separately) recorded maximum system productivity in terms of rice grain equivalent yield (17502 kg/ha/year), net returns (Rs. 62,977/ha/year), benefit-cost ratio (1.91) and labour use efficiency compared to other models. Jayanthi et al. (2003) revealed that integration of crop with fish, poultry, pigeon and goat resulted in higher productivity than cropping alone under lowland condition. Crop + fish + goat integration recorded higher rice grain equivalent yield of 37679 kg/ha and net returns of Rs. 1,38,418/ha than other systems. Crop diversification through agroforestry Devaranavadgi et al. (2005) reported that the chickpea grain yield (950 kg/ha) was highest in sole crop (no trees) and lowest (513 kg/ha) in Acacia nilotoica + chickpea system. Among tree species, Hardwickia binata recorded highest yield of chickpea (873 kg/ha) which was 92 per cent of sole. The net returns and benefit-cost ratio were highest in Hardwickia binata + chickpea (Rs. 10,212/ha). Thus, Hardwickia binata + chickpea agri-silvicultural system is economically feasible. Sharma et al. (1994) observed that mungbean intercropped with ber (horti-silvi system) recorded higher economic returns (Rs.7680/ha) compared to sole mungbean (Rs.4800/ha) and gave the Rs. 2800/ha net profit over sole mungbean. Conclusion Crop diversification is one of the strategy for maximizing productivity and profitability in agriculture through crop substitution or addition of more remunerative crops/cropping systems viz., rice-wheat-greengram / green manure crop, rice-potato-greengram, rice-maize-cowpea / greengram, maize-potato-onion, sugarcane + sunnhemp / blackgram etc., for irrigated ecosystem and groundnutwheat, fingermillet + vegetable / grain cowpea / pigeonpea, maize + pigeonpea, pigeonpea + sunflower / sasamum / mesta etc., for dryland ecosystem. Integrated farming system involving the livestock enterprises with cropping viz., rice + fish + poultry, crop + fish + goat, crop + goat + poultry + sheep / piggery + dairy etc., are results in higher total productivity, profitability, sustainabilty and gainful employment for a household. Agroforesty is also a component of crop diversification, it maximize the productivity, profitability and resource conservation through different systems viz., agri-silvi, agrisilvi-pasture, horti-pasture etc. Selected references Bastia, D.K., Garnayak, L.M. and Barik, T., 2008, Diversification of rice (Oryza sativa)-based cropping systems for higher productivity, resource-use efficiency and economics. Indian J. Agron., 53(1) : 22-26. Channabasavanna, A.S. and Biradar, D.P., 2007, Relative performance of different rice-fish-poultry integrated farming system model with respect to system productivity and economics. Karnataka J. Agric. Sci., 20(4) : 706-709. Devarnavadgi, S.B., Sajjan, A.S., Wali, S.Y., Pawar, K.N. and Hunshal, C.S., 2005, Influence of chickpea based agri-silvicultureal system on soil nutrients and economics. Karnataka J. Agric. Sci., 18(1) : 63-66. Kalpana, R., Devasenapathy, P. and Kaleeswari, R.K., 2009, Crop diversification for increasing productivity and profiatbilty in irrigated uplands of Tamil Nadu. Indian J. Agric. Sci., 43(1) : 7376. Potdar, M.P., 2010, Spectral characterization, acreage and production estimation through remote sensing and management of pod borer (Helicoverpa armigera) through polycropping in pigeonpea. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Agric. Sci., Dharwad (India). Reddy, B.N. and Sure, G., 2009, Crop diversification with oilseed crop for maximizing productivity, profitability and resource conservation. Indian J. Agron., 54(2) : 206-214. Walia, S.S., Gill, M.S., Bharat, B., Phutela, R.P. and Aulakh, C.S., 2011, Alternate cropping systems to rice (Oryza sativa)-wheat (Triticum aestivum) for Punjab. Indian J. Agron., 56(1) : 20-27.