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Changes in Cropping Pattern in Odisha Agriculture in Neo-Liberal Period
Role of agriculture remains vital in enabling the State to attain and maintain food self-sufficiency, especially, in a poverty-stricken State like Odisha. Despite the changes in the macroeconomic policy framework in the neo-liberal period, the agricultural sector in Odisha neither experienced any significant growth subsequent to the initiation of economic reforms in 1991 nor it derived the expected shift in cropping pattern. Sustainable growth of agriculture depends significantly on the process of agricultural transformation, which in turn is well connected with shifts in cropping patterns. The paper discusses the cropping pattern changes that have taken place in area allocation as well as in terms of production and productivity of major crop groups at the State level and across physiographic zones of the State. It is observed that there are variations in the share of area, production and productivity of major crop groups over the time at the State level and as well as across the physiographic zones. Sluggish shift in the cropping pattern towards non-foodgrain crops in the State is because of slow expansion of irrigation, low level of fertiliser consumption, slow technology adoption and low level of infrastructure. The slowdown in the process of cropping pattern change means that most government efforts to diversify agriculture have failed to take off.
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