What does mean by Agricultural Diversification?
The process of diversification of agriculture is related to either a change in cropping pattern or the farmer taking to activities like animal husbandry, poultry farming, etc, instead of just growing of food crops or diversification in cropping pattern. The second category, i.e. diversification in cropping pattern refers to diversification between food and non-food crops, between cereals and non-cereals, between traditional crops and horticulture, and between low value and high value crops. Another meaning of diversification is related to two categories: Horizontal and Vertical Diversification.
Horizontal Diversification: This refers to multiple, cropping, i.e. growing more than one crop, i.e. a mix of crops, to broaden the base of agriculture. This is very useful, especially in case of farmers who are in possession of small holdings. They can earn more by increasing the cropping intensity.
Vertical Diversification: Vertical crop diversification relates to the integration of industrialization along with multiple cropping. When the farmer goes a step further to invest in enterprises like agro-forestry, thy land horticulture, aromatic plants, livestock, he can earn more. The above two types of diversification go a long way in increasing productivity and production of crops and help the farmers to increase their incomes.