Determinants of crop diversity in the regions of Bangladesh (1990-2008)
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The paper measures the level of crop diversity and identifies factors influencing diversification using a panel data of 17 regions of Bangladesh covering a 19 year period (1990-2008). Results revealed the trends that agricultural areas allocated to high-yielding variety rice, spices and vegetables has increased, while areas cultivating traditional rice, minor cereals, oilseeds, pulses, jute and sugarcane has declined at variable rates across regions with significant differences. The level of crop diversity is also significantly different across regions and has decreased in 2008 from its 1990 level in most regions except Faridpur, Khulna and Sylhet. Among the determinants, an increase in the relative prices of vegetables and urea fertilizer, extension expenditure, labour stock per farm, average farm size, irrigation and a reduction in livestock per farm significantly increase crop diversity. Price policies to improve vegetable prices and investment in irrigation infrastructure and extension services are suggested to promote crop diversity in Bangladesh.
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