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Economic evaluation of different cropping patterns under irrigated agriculture : a multidisciplinary approach

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  • The purpose of this study is to determine the socioeconomic factors which influence the profitability and adoption of new cropping patterns, and to recommend suitable measures to enhance the crop diversification program in Mahaweli System B, Sri Lanka. The adoption of new cropping patterns is determined by a number of interrelated and mutually reinforcing factors. Hence, a multidisciplinary approach is used in this study to apprehend the different attributes of the new cropping patterns and farmers' decision making environment. The analytical methods include Marginal Cost-Benefit Analysis, Multivariate Analysis of Variance, Factor Analysis and Logit Probability Model. The results from the different techniques are generally in close agreement and complement each other. Results of the Marginal Cost- Benefit Analysis indicates that an increase in current crop yields and output prices may be necessary to increase the profitability of new cropping patterns to a recommendable level. Analysis of the farmers' beliefs suggests that adopters of the new cropping patterns have more positive beliefs towards the profitability and adoption of new cropping patterns when compared to nonadopters. Factor Analysis shows that there is a wide variation between the adopters and non-adopters, and also across the different locations with respect to farm-level variables. The analysis demonstrated that the information provided by 17 selected farm-level variables may be explained by four factors; namely, management factor, social factor, farm resource factor and farm stability factor. The variables highly loaded with the stability factor (number of years of residence, amount of loan obtained for farming, irrigation condition and percentage of rice produced allocated for consumption) are closely associated with the adoption rate. A logit probability model indicates that availability of farm loans significantly increases the probability of the adoption of new cropping patterns. The study results show that the crop yield, output prices, availability of farm loans and farmer beliefs, are the dominant factors which influence the adoption of new cropping patterns.
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