Crop Diversification for Sustainable Agriculture
In India, over the years, the new cropping systems have become predominant in view of their higher productivity as well as income for farmers. Examples are rice-wheat cropping system in the north, groundnut in Gujarat, sugarcane in the north, chickpea in southern states, arhar in the north-western states, soybean in Madhya Pradesh and adjoining states, and winter maize in Bihar. Unfortunately, most of these systems require diversification for greater sustainability and conservation of natural resources. Time is ripe now to bring in needed reforms in the existing cropping systems that are more scientifically based and more suited to varying agro-climatic conditions. The possibilities of future crop diversification that can increase farmers’ production as well as income and also ensure conservation agriculture through sustainable intensification are described in this commentary. There is a need for long term planning and development of various strategies for crop diversification in the best national interest.
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