Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Impact of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on Crop Diversification in West Bengal Agriculture

Kundu, Amit (2017): Impact of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on Crop Diversification in West Bengal Agriculture. Published in: Agricultural Situation in India No. January, 2018 (2 March 2018): pp. 20-26.

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Abstract

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is acclaimed as the largest public works programme in the World. Based on its vast potential for creation of productive works, high expectations have raised in terms of augmentation of rural connectivity and rural water and land resources that would improve agricultural productivity. This paper investigates whether different kinds of expansion of infrastructure related to agricultural under NREGS have any impact on the crop diversification of West Bengal over the years .We have taken 18 districts of West Bengal. District level trends and patterns in crop diversification in West Bengal between the periods 2006-07 to 2013-14 are calculated using Simpson Index of Diversification (SID). The study revealed that cropping pattern at district level is transforming from food grains to high-value crops but the transformation is not uniform across the districts. The results of Fixed Effect Model revealed that ‘micro irrigation’ and ‘rural connectivity’ work under NREGS have created a positive but small impact on crop diversification. It is further observed that average rain fall and average harvest price of principal crops in the previous period also play a significant role to enhance the crop diversification of West Bengal.

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