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What is Agricultural Diversification?

Agricultural diversification is one of the essential components of economic growth. It is the stage where traditional agriculture is transformed into a dynamic and commercial sector by shifting the traditional agricultural product mix to high standard products, which has a high potential in stimulating production rate. Here, It is supported by a change in technology or consumer demand, trade or government policy, transportation, irrigation, and other developments of infrastructure.

Types of Diversification

  1. Horizontal Diversification: This relates to multiple cropping or mixing of crops instead of cultivating a single crop. Horizontal Diversification is especially useful for small farmers who hold a small piece of land. This allows them to earn more by escalating cropping intensity.
  2. Vertical Diversification: It refers to the incorporation of industrialization along with multiple cropping. In this kind of Diversification, farmers take a further step and invest in activities like horticulture, agroforestry, livestock rearing, the culture of aromatic plants, etc.

Reasons for Agricultural Diversification

These include:

  • Climate Change: Diversification reasonably controls the damage that can occur from unfavorable weather conditions. This process safeguards the farmers from the loss of crops in such a situation.
  • Facilitate Several Employment Alternatives: Almost half of the employment in India revolves around the agriculture sector. Diversification creates new job opportunities for rural people other than traditional farming.
  • Increases in Income: Opting for Diversification will undoubtedly increase the income and will let the farmers live a comfortable life.
  • Exportation: Diversification, especially of non-farming products, makes a sizable export provision for its unique characteristics. India is now on the front line in exporting several agricultural products to multiple countries. This contributes to the overall growth of the economy.

Benefits of Diversification

  • It helps in reducing risk factors as it ensures that the farmers do not lose all of their resources if the weather does not favor crop production.
  • Since multiple crops can be harvested from a small field, the production increases ten-fold, which ensures a substantial amount of income.
  • It makes provision for additional employment in rural areas.
  • The boost in rural employment impacts the overall economy of the nation, as agriculture in India falls into the primary sector of the country.