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, that has a high potential in stimulating production rate. Here, the agricultural diversification is supported by a change in technology or consumer demand, trade or government policy, and by transportation, irrigation, and, other infrastructures development.

The two aspects of Diversification

  • The change in the cropping pattern
  • The transformation of the manpower from agriculture work to other associated activities like poultry, livestock, fisheries, etc. and also non-agriculture sector

For rural people, diversification or focusing on associate activity is important as it gives them an opportunity to earn extra income and overcome poverty.

Poultry and Livestock

  • Animal Husbandry- Most of the farmers use mix crop-livestock system to increase their standards of living and income. Animal Husbandry is an agricultural branch that deals with the practices of farming, breeding, and care of farm animals such as cattle, dogs, sheep, and horses. In India, about 70 million small, and medium farmers, labors, and a large number of women are dependent in the livestock sector.
  • Fisheries- Aquaculture or fisheries is an important part of food production providing economic security to the millions of people besides livelihood support. In India, the total fish production contribution from inland sources is about 64 percent and 36 percent from the marine sector (sea and oceans). Today, fisheries contribute a total of 0.8 percent of the total GDP.
  • Horticulture- It is agriculture that deals with plantation of the garden crop, especially vegetables, fruits, flowers, tuber crops, species, and ornamental or medicinal plants, etc. These plants provide food and nutrition besides providing employment. In India, the horticulture sector contributes six percent of GDP and one-third of agriculture output.

Meaning and Reasons for Diversification

Types of Diversification

Benefits of Diversification
Types of Non-Farm Employment in Rural Areas
Golden Revolution

Short Questions:


ANS: It is essential for rural people to generate supplementary gainful employment and realizing a higher level of income.


ANS: People seek employment in the non-farm sector as agriculture is already overcrowded and cannot offer additional employment.

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