Crop Diversification of Small and Marginal Farmers for Their Household Food Availability in Flood Affected Areas of Assam, India

Sanseeta Gogoi, Sundar Barman and Nagen Borboloi

Abstract


The present study was carried out in two flood affected districts viz. Jorhat and Dhemaji districts of Assam in order
to assess the extent of crop diversification, food availability and problems faced by small and marginal farmers in
crop diversification. A total of 96 farmers were selected randomly from eight villages of two districts and data were
collected through personal interview by pre tested structured schedule. Simpsons’ index of diversification was used
to assess the crop diversification. The findings reveal that majority sample small and marginal farmers belonged to
medium level of crop diversification with SID (Simpson Index of Diversity) ranges from 0.18 to 0.66. This indicates
farmers of flood affected area of two districts followed crop diversification. The mean SID values of 2010 and 2014
are 0.42 and 0.48 respectively. The shifting of mean SID value in 2010 and 2014 was found statistically non
significant (t-0.101) indicates no significant change of crop diversification from 2010 to 2014. The findings also
reveal that per capita availability of cereals and vegetables were found surplus as against the Recommended
Dietary Allowance (RDA) with 15.36 per cent and 82.00 per cent respectively. But it was found deficit in oilseed and
pulse with 50.00 per cent and 56.25 per cent per capita per day respectively. Problems reported by small and
marginal farmers for crop diversification in order of rank were frequent price flocculation, perishable nature of
horticulture crops, higher labour wage, and existence of middle man in marketing. Proper extension policy and
intervention for popularizing suitable crops in flood affected area will be benefited the small and marginal farmers
through crop diversification. Enhancing marketing support, farm mechanization and popularizing post harvest
technologies may motivate farmers for crop diversification

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