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Sorghum, which once occupied more than 18 M ha of area in the country, has been on a continuous decline during the past two decades and has fallen down to 10.39 M ha. Most of the decline in area has occurred in kharif sorghum. This warrants critical examination of the changing scenario of kharif sorghum and identification of the reasons thereof. For the macro analysis, secondary data on various aspects of kharif sorghum have been used, whereas the farm survey data have been used to draw the inferences at the micro level with respect to changing scenario of kharif sorghum. The growth rates in area, production and productivity of kharif sorghum have been computed. The Herfindahl index has been computed to find out crop diversification in the sample districts of Dharwad and Belgaun. The deceleration in the kharif sorghum area in the overall period 1970-71 to 1997-98 and different sub-periods has been found due to the diversion of kharif sorghum area to more remunerative crops like oil seeds (groundnut and sunflower), and pulses. Belgaum district displayed a moderate degree of crop diversification compared to that of Dharwad district. Unfavourable prices, declining yields, inadequate credit and adverse climatic conditions have been identified as the major reasons for the replacement of kharif sorghum crop in the two sample districts. The net returns and benefit-cost ratio have been found low in the cultivation of kharif sorghum compared to those of its competing crops, viz. cotton, green gram and groundnut.


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