Crop diversification denotes the number of crops grown in a region within a specific period of time. It is an indicator multiplication of agricultural activities which indicates intense competition between various crops for space. Stiffer the competition higher is the magnitude of diversification, and lesser the competition greater will be the trend towards specialization or monoculture.
Also there is seasonal variation in crop-diversification. Agricultural diversification is now almost a normal feature of stable agriculture and progressive farm management in most of the extensive agricultural parts of the world.
It has been made possible by modern irrigation, use of fertilizers, HYV seeds, pesticides and mechanization technologies. Besides, the vagaries of weather, subsistent and orthodox farming practices also compel farmers to sow a number of crops. Hence, the magnitude of agricultural diversification shows the impact of physical, socio-economic and techno-organizational factors on agriculture.
The degree of crop diversification may be measured by relating the number of crops in a regional unit to the total percentage occupied by those crops in the same unit. If the number of crops grown in an area! Unit is ten, each occupying only 10% of the cropped area, the crop diversification is of a very high degree. On the contrary if a particular crop occupies 100 per cent of the cropped area the. On the basis of the map following three diversification categories may be identified:
(a) High Crop Diversification (Dl less than 15)
This incorporates Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, central Bihar, southern Madhya Pradesh, and north-east- ern Maharashtra, Telangana, southern Karnataka, southern Kerala, eastern Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. While in Punjab and Haryana the diversification is the outcome of modernized agriculture based on Green Revolution technology, elsewhere in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim etc. it is linked with the traditional farming system.
(b) Medium Crop Diversification (Di 15-25)
This includes Uttar Pradesh, northern and north-western Madhya Pradesh, western Maharashtra, northern Gujarat, north-eastern Karnataka, and northern Tamil Nadu. Here fertility of soils, development of irrigation and modernization of agriculture has been responsible for more crop diversification while traditionalism, in some areas, has contradictory effects.
(c) Low Crop Diversification (Dl Less than 25)
This incorporates north-eastern India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur), West Bengal, northern Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu plains, Malabar and Konkan coasts, Kathiawar and western Rajasthan. Whereas rice is the main crop in the north-eastern region and coastal plains, bajra attains popularity in the arid regions of Rajasthan. Hence both physical and cultural factors have played dominant role in attaining such crop specialisation.