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Abstract

Commercialization of agricultural sector through diversification into high value agriculture has been identified as a viable strategy for up-scaling the socio-economic status of poor rural farmers, the success of which is largely dependant upon their degree of market orientation. This study attempted to investigate business orientation of poor farmers in terms of the extent to which they are market as opposed to production oriented, which was also dependant upon their degree of commercial orientation. The study was conducted among 897 poor dry zone farmers. The study first investigated into the commercial versus subsistence orientation of the farmers. The routine decision criteria adopted by farmers that were devoid of market considerations were considered as production orientated whereas the corresponding decisions that deviated from routine production orientation towards greater integration of market considerations were considered as market orientated. A score were assigned from a scale varying from 1 to 6 for both orientations representing the number of production/marketing criteria considered by each farmer in production related decision making. Findings revealed that the overall business orientation of the farmers culminated in production orientation with a little deviation towards market orientation in the case of Other Field Crops (OFCs), which was mainly grown for commercial purposes as opposed to paddy and vegetables that were mainly grown for fulfilling subsistence requirements. This brings about the need for placing a greater emphasis on inculcating market oriented mind sets among farmers for making rural socio-economic development a reality.

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