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Land use and cropping decisions of agricultural households in India

S Chandrasekhar, Vijay Laxmi Pandey and Soham Sahoo ()
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Vijay Laxmi Pandey: Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Gen A K Vaidya Marg

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2022, vol. 14, issue 3, No 4, 635 pages

Abstract: Abstract This study modelled the cropping decisions of Indian agricultural households using a nationally representative survey conducted in 2013 covering over 35,000 households with plot-level panel data on the types of crop cultivated in the two seasons (Kharif or Rabi) of a cropping year. We controlled for household-level unobserved characteristics using a fixed-effects procedure and estimated a multinomial model to determine the factors affecting choice of crop-type. We provide evidence on the ‘stickiness’ in the choice of cereals in the Indo-Gangetic Plain and other regions of India. The probability of a farmer switching towards non-cereal crops within the crop year was low, highlighting the challenges in crop diversification. We found that irrigated plots were less likely to be left fallow and more likely to be used for growing cereals. The probability of cultivating cereals was higher for larger plots. While our results suggest that policies promoting irrigation and the expansion of land ownership might not improve crop diversification, we also find that these measures may reduce the amount of land left fallow and hence impact food security in India.

Keywords: Crop choice; Fallow land; Transition probability; Irrigation; Land size; Farm households (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s12571-021-01250-z

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