CHANGING TRENDS IN VEGETABLE CULTIVATION IN WEST BENGAL, INDIA
West Bengal has emerged as the major producer of fresh vegetables in India. Since independence in 1947, India has tried to enhance productivity through the application of improved methods of cultivation introduced under the Applied Nutrition Program in collaboration with UNICEF, FAO and WHO. Under the Community Development Blocks program, the intention was to improve nutrition rather than to seek profit however farmers adopted the innovation as a means for maintaining their livelihood. With a depleting land base due to population pressure, assured irrigation and improved inputs, both public and private extension mechanisms were instrumental in this silent revolution, often termed the Golden Revolution. The impact has been phenomenal in terms of the area cultivated under vegetables and the encroachment of vegetable crops into non-traditional areas; the introduction of new crops; extending the seasonality of supply through staggered plantings and placing vegetables into non-traditional cropping sequences; increased productivity through intercropping, mixed cropping, relay cropping, multilayered cropping and alley cropping. Although production faces occasional gluts, the industry has generated employment in cultivation, marketing and food processing. On the other hand, the system suffers from fixed crop rotations, a high pest and disease burden, indiscriminate use of pesticides and consequent pollution which requires attention at all levels.
Maity, T.K. and Basu, D. (2009). CHANGING TRENDS IN VEGETABLE CULTIVATION IN WEST BENGAL, INDIA. Acta Hortic. 809, 187-192
vegetable production, crop diversification, cropping system