Swagat Ranjan Rath Darshan and N P Saumyesh Acharya
Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati University Sriniketan West Bengal 731236
Peri-urban agriculture involves the practice of farming and allied activities surrounding urban centers where urban and rural landscapes intersect. It plays a significant role in meeting the growing demand for food in urban areas and providing livelihood opportunities for rural communities. There are various factors including land availability, market dynamics, environmental concerns and policy frameworks, that shape the scenario of peri-urban agriculture in India. The capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, is surrounded by agricultural lands that fall under its peri-urban areas. Farmers in these areas emphasize diversifying their farming operations by incorporating vegetables, dairy, mushroom, and fish farming to increase their profitability from the limited amount of available land. The objective of the present study was to delineate the relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of farmers and agricultural diversification in peri-urban areas. A total of 80 respondents were selected through a simple random sampling method. The data was collected through a structured interview schedule. The collected data was classified, tabulated, and analyzed using statistical tools like frequency, per cent age, mean, standard deviation, correlation, and regression coefficient. The coefficient of correlation found that independent variables, annual income from agricultural activities, extension agency contact and land holding showed a positive association with the dependent variable, agricultural diversification. Regression results found that 15 causal variables together have contributed 92.27 per cent of the variance in the consequent variable, agricultural diversification. This study has immense importance for the suitable design and implementation of government schemes and policies for the development of peri-urban agriculture.