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Socio-Economic Status of Smallholder Rubber Farmers in the Moneragala District

Authors:

DMAP Dissanayake ,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta,, LK
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Wasana Wijesuriya,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta,, LK
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HMLK Herath,

Department of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP),, LK
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PKKS Gunaratne

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Dartonfield, Agalawatta,, LK
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Abstract

This study was focused on the Moneragala district which is one of the districts in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka. Rubber cultivation, being a new initiative there is a high risk of resource wastage in these areas which necessitated a detail study for proper planning of this exercise. Hence, the objective of this study was to assess the socio-economic conditions of rubber farmers which are a basic necessity for planning community development projects. A questionnaire survey was done to collect household and rubber relevant information from 255, 248 and 143 respondents in the respective categories of farmers who are prepared to cultivate rubber (potential farmers) and those who own immature and mature rubber plantations. More than 50% of the farmers had only primary level education. Hence, education needs to be considered as a constraint in improving the awareness of rubber farmers in the nontraditional rubber growing areas. The higher percentage with a monthly income of less than Rs. 10,000 should also be regarded as a bottleneck for the adoption of recommended technologies and proper monitoring methodologies need to be adopted in disbursement of subsidies to minimize resource wastage. Use of family labour for different activities in the category who own immature holdings were 75%. In mature plantations about 65% of the farmers use family labour for activities such as tapping, weeding and fertilizer application. Motorable roads are available to access the homesteads of 86% of the smallholder units. Electricity is available in 56% of the houses and 30% of the smallholders owned vehicles. There is a considerable improvement in the status of rubber farmers who own mature rubber plantations which is a good indication of profitability of rubber. Societal involvement by ‘potential’ farmers was 21% and 27% percent of farmers who own immature plantations are members in Thurusaviya. Farmers of mature plantations have taken much interest on the societies as 46% hold memberships. However, experience on rubber cultivation is low as expected calling for efficient extension programmes giving emphasis on poor educational status. Moreover, rigourous monitoring of use of subsidy for rubber farming is vital to minimize resource wastage.

Journal of Food and Agriculture 2010 Vol. 03, No. 1 & 2, Page 41-49

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v3i1-2.5168

How to Cite: Dissanayake, D. et al., (2013). Socio-Economic Status of Smallholder Rubber Farmers in the Moneragala District. Journal of Food and Agriculture. 3(1-2), pp.41–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v3i1-2.5169
Published on 24 Jan 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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