ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cropping Patterns and Risk Management in the Flood Plains of Assam

The recurring floods in Assam cause instability in agricultural production. To avoid crop losses due to frequent floods many farmers have adopted a risk-averse strategy by an appropriate combination of crops. This has led to a decline in the acreage share of kharif foodgrains and a corresponding increase in rabi foodgrains and vegetables. This article explores if such a strategy is spread over the whole state or is restricted to a few pockets. It also analyses how and to what extent flood proneness has influenced the choice of cropping pattern of the farmers of Assam.

Farmers often face risk basically from two types of sources, viz, price risk and production risk.1 The latter assumes special significance in Assam because floods are a regular phenomenon in the state causing great havoc to agriculture every year. Winter or sali paddy that has traditionally occupied a major share in the total cropped area is very vulnerable to frequent floods.

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