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Explain the changes in cropping pattern in India in the context of changes in consumption pattern and marketing conditions

Agriculture in India, a continually evolving sector, has its cropping patterns largely shaped by shifts in consumption demands and prevailing market conditions. Understanding these shifts requires analyzing the interplay between various factors.

Table 1: Factors Influencing Cropping Pattern

Natural Factors– Climate and weather patterns
– Soil fertility
– Pest and diseases
Anthropogenic Factors– Technological advances
– Government policies

Impact of Consumption Pattern on Cropping Pattern:

Table 2: Consumption Induced Changes

Move to high nutrition cropsTransition from cereals to pulses in Rajasthan; Cultivation of kiwis in Himachal.
Rising environmental consciousnessDemand for organic products; Sikkim being the first fully organic state.
Increase in processed food consumptionIncreased cultivation of potatoes and tomatoes in states like UP, Punjab, and Gujarat.
Growing health awarenessRise in demand for healthier oils like olive and jojoba in Rajasthan.
E-commerce influenced consumptionCherry tomatoes, typically grown in northern regions, now cultivated in Telangana.

Impact of Market Conditions on Cropping Pattern:

Table 3: Market Induced Changes

Export potentialCotton cultivation expanding to Punjab due to its export potential despite being native to Maharashtra.
Government policiesMSP and subsidies pushing cultivation of rice, wheat, and sugarcane even in water-scarce regions.
Commodity price fluctuationsReduction in tomato cultivation in Maharashtra due to price volatility.
External factorsIncreased domestic oilseed production due to declining imports from South East Asia.

The evolution of cropping patterns in India showcases the deep interlinkages between consumption preferences, market dynamics, and agricultural practices. Balancing these shifts with the ecological capacity and resource availability of regions is crucial. Leveraging technology, such as the soil health card and e-platforms, coupled with knowledge dissemination from institutes like ICAR, can help farmers navigate these changes more effectively.

October 2023