Sunday, 15 July 2012

Farm Diversification Goes with Size of Land Holding!


      In the situation like Tripura, there are two main types of farming as far as geographical condition is concerned, one, plain and second, hilly or more traditional type of farming.
    Of course, within these two divisions, there are many similarities and little dissimilarity as far as farming practices is concerned. Tripura is pre-dominant for rice cultivation as far as cereal farming is concerned.
    However, there are certain other crops and animal husbandry activities that are also practiced by the people of the state from time to time.

Farm Diversification in Plain Area:-

     Generally, a prominent farmer in the plain area would to maintain in addition to cropping like livestock for bullock and milch cow for animal power and meeting milk need of the family members.
     It is also observed that farmers of plain area also used to keep local fowl and duck in the farm pond but again purpose of that diversification are for meeting occasional needs and egg requirement in the family.
    Now, if all these activities are viewed in farm diversification perspective with economic sense then, it could hardly be considered as diversification activities.
  This is due to the fact that secondary activities maintained by the farm household are less than the optimum therefore; they do not give scaleable income.
   One peculiarity that could be observed in the farming sector is more often than not, big farmers do not much diversify their farm in terms of growing different kinds of crops and also maintaining livestock etc which actually diminishes the total income potentiality of a well diversified farm.
    Big farmers with significant land holding size used to stick with mono cropping with least amount of diversification or no exceptional farm diversification activities.
   The big or moderately big farmers if venture into the effective farm diversification then it could really change the total farming landscape of the state which would have benefited both big and small farmers in general.

Farm Diversification by Small, Marginalized and Landless:-

    Farm diversification seems to be prominent with small farmers as it is prominently seen with the marginalized and lands less family who utilize their piece of land or no land possibly to create a flow of continuous income.
  These small farmers, they take up many activities along with growing of crops like animal husbandry viz; cattle farming, goat rearing and local fowl rearing although they possess little or no land but still they maintain through open/restricted grazing etc.
  All these create a permanent or continuous source of income for family to survive in the time of economic hardship.

Farm diversification in Hilly Area:-

 In hilly area, where comparatively traditional type of farming is practiced like growing of rain fed paddy, jhum/shifthing cultivation is also more or less same as far as diversification of farm is concerned.
  In the hilly area, activity like goat farming, pig rearing, local fowl rearing and shifting cultivation are the few diversification activities that people follow & practices.
    Therefore, here also, the same tendency of diversification in economic term is reflected that is decreased diversification with increased holding or with improved economic status and increased holding means mono cropping incase of cultivation activities and solo activities incase of other form of farming.
 However, diversification would vary in accordance with local taste and preference but within that preference too there exist huge gap between desired activity and actual field activity.
    In the time of dwindling farm income, it is therefore, imperative that farm diversification is given importance irrespective of holding size and shape.
  The point is; once you diversify, you actually delegate responsibilities in the whole instead of expecting to collapse with single activity oriented approach.
Agritangkol dated 09.07.2012

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