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Cropping Pattern Choice and Risk Mitigation in Flood Affected Agriculture: A Study of Assam Plains, India

Raju Mandal

No 1403, Working Papers from Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business

Abstract: Farmers are usually exposed to considerable risk arising from shocks in production and price of crops. The former assumes special significance for farmers in the plains of Assam, India because every year large areas of the state come under the grip of floods that cause extensive damage to its crop growing sector. This paper attempts to explore how the farmers in the flood plains of Assam are trying to cope with flood induced production risks in terms of cropping pattern choice. It further examines whether such a coping mechanism has any contribution towards returns in the farms. The analysis of farm level survey data suggests that the farmers in the plains of Assam, who are affected by floods not only in terms of reduced time availability for cropping but also higher production risks due to varying timing, frequency and intensity of floods during a year, tend to diversify their cropping pattern more in order to minimize production risk associated with flood damages to crops. Farmers with better irrigation facility and access to institutional credit are found to be more successful in this strategy. Moreover, the farms with a diversified cropping pattern have been able extract more returns from farming.

Date: 2014-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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