Karnataka tops crop diversification in country: Economic Survey

Karnataka tops crop diversification in country: Economic Survey

Karnataka has topped the crop diversification index across the country, reveals the Economic Survey, released by the Union government on Monday.

The southern state has scored 0.938 on the crop diversification index for the year 2014-15, as per the survey.

Crop diversification refers to the addition of new crops or cropping systems to agricultural production on a particular farm taking into account the different returns from value-added crops with complementary marketing opportunities.

Karnataka is followed by Maharashtra, which is a distant second, with the score of 0.903. Gujarat is at the third slot with 0.900 score.

Odisha is the worst performer on the crop diversification index, with score of as low as 0.340, followed by Chhattisgarh (0.491), and Jharkhand (0.537).

The government has used Gibbs and Martin's Method for Demarcating Crop Diversification to compute Index of Crop Diversification.

It has been computed for major states and all India to examine whether there has been major changes in the cropping patterns across states. The index value ranges between 0 and 1 and higher the value, greater the diversification.

"There is a declining inter-temporal behaviour in crop diversification for the States like Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh," the survey states.

Among these States, the decline in the index has been sharp for Odisha. The index for the state declined from 0.740 in 1994-95 to 0.703 in 2005-06. The year 2010-11 saw a steeper decline in the index for the State as it fell to 0.380 and subsequently to 0.340 in 2014-15. Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have shown increasing values in crop diversification.

On the other hand, Karnataka is the only state across the country that has shown stable growth in crop diversification.

According to experts, it's due to the diversity in cuisine culture and ecosystems within Karnataka. "There are about 10 agro-climatic regions within Karnataka. Also, we have very different food habits from region to region," Bengaluru-based agriculture expert Vasanth Kumar said.

He also indicated that diversification to the commercial crops is also helping the State.

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