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Challenges for crop diversification in cotton-based farming systems in India: a comprehensive gap analysis between practices and policies

Keller, Chigusa; Joshi, Smita; Joshi, Tanay; Goldmann, Eva and Riar, Amritbir (2024) Challenges for crop diversification in cotton-based farming systems in India: a comprehensive gap analysis between practices and policies. Frontiers in Agronomy, 6, p. 137087.

[thumbnail of keller-etal-2024-FrontiersAgronomy-Vol6-Article1370878-p1-14.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fagro.2024.1370878/full

Summary in the original language of the document

Introduction: Crop diversification is a promising practice to improve the sustainability of agricultural production systems, contributing to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functions, and food security without compromising productivity. Although diverse cropping systems may be more labour-intensive and require good knowledge of the specific cropping system in the local context, they have high potential in managing many of the problems faced in current cotton production in India. However, the adoption of crop diversification is still moderate, with an overall crop diversification index (CDI) of 0.65 for all of India and state-wise CDI between 0.43 and 0.83.
Methods: Therefore, a four-phased study was conducted to identify the main barriers to crop diversification in cotton-based farming systems in India and highlight levers that can foster their wide adoption to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The study was carried out between January to October 2020 and consisted of i) a literature review of regional and national policy and planning, ii) situational analysis with a problem tree approach, iii) individual stakeholder interviews with stakeholders from the broader Indian cotton sector, and iv) a participatory feedback workshop with said stakeholders. A total of 51 stakeholders from 24 different organizations were interviewed, 37 of them on technical aspects of crop diversification and 21 stakeholders on market and policy aspects. The same stakeholders were invited to the participatory feedback workshop, where 26 participated in the session on different benefits of crop diversification practices, and the session on market and policy challenges counted 24 participants. The study focused on the main organic cotton producing states in India: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.
Results and discussion: In our study, it became evident that many policies and governmental schemes exist to promote national food security, sustainable agriculture, and agricultural marketing infrastructure, but crop diversification is still not gaining momentum on the ground. Various levers were identified in the areas of market and procurement, capacity building and knowledge transfer, supply industry and infrastructure, and farmers and women empowerment, where the current policy landscape is failing to foster crop diversification effectively on the farm level.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Abacus, FiBL65141, FiBL65193, FiBL65166, barriers and levers, crop rotation, intercropping, organic cotton, situational analysis, smallholder farmers, sustainable agriculture, India, crop diversification, policy gap analysis
Agrovoc keywords:
organic farming -> organic agriculture
crop diversification -> diversification
sustainable agriculture
Subjects: Crop husbandry
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > India
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Regions > Asia
Related Links:https://systems-comparison.fibl.org/
Deposited By: Keller, Chigusa
ID Code:53280
Deposited On:10 May 2024 10:09
Last Modified:10 May 2024 10:09
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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