CGPRT No. 16                    Maize Production in Sri Lanka                               N.F.C. Ranaweera              ...
Maize Production in Sri Lanka
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion w...
CGPRT NO. 16                        Maize Production in Sri Lanka                                              N.F.C. Rana...
Table of Contents                                                                                                         ...
Cost of cultivation ...............................................................................         47           A...
List of Tables and FiguresTables                                                                                          ...
6.4    Educational level of children over 16 years of age ..................................                    286.5    P...
6.29   Nature of maize crop stand - chena ..........................................................            416.30   A...
7.6    Lowland extent and total extent of maize cultivated ................................                 587.7    Highl...
Foreword   The regional research and development project RAS/82/002 is funded by theUNDP and is implemented by the FAO in ...
Acknowledgements   We wish to express our sincere thanks to many individuals who made this studypossible.   Particularly, ...
Summary     Maize is primarily a rainfed crop cultivated in the maha season in both settled andshifting (chena) types of h...
A majority of the farmers surveyed are full-time workers on their farms. Withineach district, 86% of farmers farm full-tim...
Regression analysis showed that total output is significantly and positively relatedto land, fertilizer and improved varie...
1Introduction     Maize is cultivated in many districts in Sri Lanka, mainly under rainfedconditions. It is considered pri...
2                                                                           Introductionareas and cultivation practices, f...
Introduction                                                                           3farmers was distributed randomly a...
4                                                                            Introduction     The main chapter of this rep...
2Physical Characteristics of Sri Lanka andFeatures of The Small Farm SectorPhysical characteristics      The geographical ...
6                                                           Physical Characteristics of Sri Lankaup-country. The wet zone ...
Physical Characteristics of Sri Lanka                                              7     Monthly histograms of anticipated...
8                                                                      Physical Characteristics of Sri Lankathree-componen...
3Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri LankaArea under cultivation     Maize is traditionally cultivated during the maha...
10                                                           Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lankayear. Even withi...
Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lanka                                                 11        Table 3.4 Yeild pe...
12                                                       Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lankagram, soybean), spic...
Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lanka                                        133.   wholesalers, final purchasers ...
4Maize research in Sri LankaEarlier studies on maize      The need for improvement of maize production in Sri Lanka was re...
16                                                                               Maize Research in Sri Lanka5.   tolerance...
Maize Research in Sri Lanka                                                                      17varieties, a population...
18                                                                         Maize Research in Sri Lanka                 Tab...
Maize Research in Sri Lanka                                                                19fertility status of the soils...
20                                                                Maize Research in Sri Lankathe following recommendations...
Maize Research in Sri Lanka                                                              21Use of herbicides    Farmers ar...
22                                                                 Maize Research in Sri LankaSelection for drought tolera...
5Characteristics of Moneragala DistrictPhysical featuresArea and population      Moneragala district lies in the southeast...
24                                                          Characteristics of Moneragala DistrictTopography and soils    ...
Characteristics of Moneragala Distric                                                        25     Chenas are mainly unde...
6Result of the Socio-Economic Survey of MaizeCultivationFamily informationFamily composition     The average family size o...
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Maize production in sri lanka
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Maize production in sri lanka

9,477

Published on

0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
9,477
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
180
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Maize production in sri lanka

  1. 1. CGPRT No. 16 Maize Production in Sri Lanka N.F.C. Ranaweera G.A.C. de Silva M.H.J.P. Fernando and H.B. Hindagala The CGPRT Centre
  2. 2. Maize Production in Sri Lanka
  3. 3. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning thelegal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of itsfrontiers or boundaries. The opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent theopinion of the United Nations.
  4. 4. CGPRT NO. 16 Maize Production in Sri Lanka N.F.C. Ranaweera G.A.C. de Silva M.H.J.P. Fernando and H.B. HindagalaThe CGPRT CentreRegional Co-ordination Centre forResearch and Development of Coarse Grains,Pulses, Roots and Tuber Crops in theHumid Tropics of Asia and the Pacific
  5. 5. Table of Contents PageList of Tables and Figures ………………………………………………….... viiPreface ……………..……………………………………………………….... xiAcknowledgements ......................................................................................... xiiSummary ......................................................................................................... xiii1. Introduction .............................................................................................. 1 Objectives of the study ........................................................................ 1 Methodology ....................................................................................... 1 Organization of the report ................................................................... 32. Physical Characteristics of Sri Lanka and Features of the Small Farm Sector ....................................................................................................... 5 Physical characteristics ........................................................................ 5 Small farm sector in Sri Lanka ............................................................ 7 Rainfed cropping in dry zone highland ............................................... 83. Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lanka ....................................... 9 Area under cultivation ......................................................................... 9 Production of maize ............................................................................. 9 Imports of maize .................................................................................. 11 Other subsidiary food crops ................................................................. 11 Marketing of maize ............................................................................. 12 Agricultural extension for maize ......................................................... 124. Maize Research in Sri Lanka ................................................................... 15 Earlier studies on maize ....................................................................... 15 Breeding .............................................................................................. 16 Agronomic investigations .................................................................... 18 Water requirements and irrigation studies ........................................... 21 Research activities - continuing planned breeding .............................. 21 Agronomic investigations .................................................................... 225. Characteristics of Moneragala District ..................................................... 23 Physical features .................................................................................. 23 Agricultural extension service ............................................................. 256. Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation .................. 27 Family Information .............................................................................. 27 Land, tenure, farm size ........................................................................ 30 Cropping calendar ............................................................................... 33 Cropping pattern .................................................................................. 35 Permanent crops .................................................................................. 38 Maize cultivation ................................................................................. 38 v
  6. 6. Cost of cultivation ............................................................................... 47 Average yield of maize ........................................................................ 49 Crop losses .......................................................................................... 49 Returns on maize cultivation ............................................................... 49 Marketing of Maize ............................................................................. 49 Agricultural extension for maize ......................................................... 527. Statistical Analysis of Variables Effecting Maize Production ................. 53 Average production function for maize ............................................... 53 Technical efficiency in maize cultivation ............................................ 54 Correlation among variables ................................................................ 558. Available technology ............................................................................... 63 Available technology ........................................................................... 63 Constraints ........................................................................................... 63 Non-economic constraints ................................................................... 63 Economic constraints .......................................................................... 66 Constraints - overall effect .................................................................. 679. Available technology ............................................................................... 69Glossary ........................................................................................................... 71References ....................................................................................................... 73 vi
  7. 7. List of Tables and FiguresTables Page1.1 ASC areas selected and farmer sample sizes .......................................... 33.1 Main maize cultivation districts of Sri Lanka ......................................... 93.2 Extent of cultivation of maize in ASC districts ....................................... 103.3 Production of maize in Sri Lanka ........................................................... 103.4 Yield per hectare of maize ...................................................................... 113.5 Imports of maize ..................................................................................... 113.6 Cultivation of subsidiary food crops other than maize, maha season only 123.7 Production of subsidiary food crops other than maize, maha season only 124.1 Grain yield and agronomic data of eight local varieties of maize evaluated during the rainy season of 1981/1982 ................................... 164.2 Mean grain yield of two promising maize varieties evaluated at four locations during the rainy season of 1974/1975 and seven locations in 1975/1976 and 1976/1977 ...................................................................... 174.3 Mean grain yield of early-maturing maize varieties evaluated at two locations during the rainy season of 1982/1983 ..................................... 184.4 Mean grain yield of four quality protein maize varieties and one normal variety evaluated at two locations during the rainy season of 1983/1984 .... 184.5 Grain yield of maize in simulated forest and bare fields at five nitrogen levels ........................................................................................................ 195.1 Major and minor irrigation tanks in ASC areas ....................................... 245.2 Extent of major crops in Moneragala district ........................................... 255.3 Agricultural extension service staff in Moneragala district ..................... 256.1 Family composition ................................................................................. 276.2 Educational level of the farmers .............................................................. 286.3 Educational level of farmers wives ......................................................... 28 vii
  8. 8. 6.4 Educational level of children over 16 years of age .................................. 286.5 Participation of farmer and wife in activities of the farm ........................ 296.6 Participation of children in the activities of the farm................................ 296.7 Nature of outside employment of farmer ................................................. 306.8 Families reporting children with outside employment ............................. 306.9 Availability of different types of land ...................................................... 306.10 Tenurial status of lowland ....................................................................... 316.11 Average extent of lowland....................................................................... 316.12 Tenurial status of highland ...................................................................... 326.13 Average extent of highland ..................................................................... 326.14 Tenurial status of chena ........................................................................... 326.15 Average extent of chena .......................................................................... 336.16 Average farm size .................................................................................... 336.17 Cultivation of lowland under different types of irrigation ....................... 346.18 Lowland cultivation seasons .................................................................... 346.19 Lowland cultivation calendar .................................................................. 346.20 Highland cultivation calendar .................................................................. 356.21 Chena cultivation calendar ...................................................................... 356.22 Crops cultivated in lowland ..................................................................... 366.23 Cropping pattern in highland - 1984/1985 maha ..................................... 376.24 Extent of cultivation in highland ............................................................. 366.25 Cropping pattern in chena - 1984/1985 maha .......................................... 396.26 Permanent crops available in highland ..................................................... 406.27 Permanent crops available in chena.......................................................... 416.28 Nature of maize crop stand - highland...................................................... 41 viii
  9. 9. 6.29 Nature of maize crop stand - chena .......................................................... 416.30 Average extent of maize cultivation - highland ....................................... 426.31 Average extent of maize cultivation - chena ............................................ 426.32 Variety of maize cultivated - highland ..................................................... 436.33 Variety of maize cultivated - chena.......................................................... 436.34 Method of planting maize ........................................................................ 446.35 Source of seed - 1984/1985 maha season ................................................. 446.36 Number of seedings................................................................................. 456.37 Seed rate of maize ................................................................................... 456.38 Application of fertilizer ........................................................................... 456.39 Weed control in highland ......................................................................... 466.40 Weed control in chena .............................................................................. 466.41 Cost of cultivation of maize - highland .................................................... 486.42 Cost of cultivation of maize - chena......................................................... 486.43 Average yield of maize............................................................................. 496.44 Costs and returns in maize cultivation...................................................... 506.45 Home consumption and marketing of maize ............................................ 506.46 Time of marketing .................................................................................... 516.47 Ways of marketing maize......................................................................... 516.48 Effect of extension service ....................................................................... 527.1 Family size and land availability .............................................................. 567.2 Family size and land area ......................................................................... 567.3 Family size and area of maize cultivated.................................................. 577.4 Family size and maize stand in highland.................................................. 577.5 Family size and marketable surplus.......................................................... 58 ix
  10. 10. 7.6 Lowland extent and total extent of maize cultivated ................................ 587.7 Highland maize extent and maize productivity ........................................ 597.8 Chena maize extent and maize productivity............................................. 597.9 Total maize extent and maize stand in highland....................................... 597.10 Total maize area and marketable surplus.................................................. 607.11 Total maize area and farm gate price........................................................ 607.12 Labour use and maize productivity-highland ........................................... 607.13 Labour use and maize productivity - chena.............................................. 618.1 Net returns of alternate crops ................................................................... 66Figures1.1 Moneragala district. Agricultural Services Centres.................................. 21.2 Agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka ...................................................... 61.3 Planting calendar for chena ...................................................................... 8 x
  11. 11. Foreword The regional research and development project RAS/82/002 is funded by theUNDP and is implemented by the FAO in co-operation with the ESCAP CGPRTCentre. One of the objectives is to identify and analyse socio-economic constraints toincreased production and efficient distribution, and to formulate strategies to exploitthe economic, employment and nutritional potential of coarse grains and food legumesunder varying farming systems. The CGPRT Centre was requested to implement socio-economic studies in selectedcountries of Asia. Country studies were conducted in six countries: Bangladesh, India,Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Selection of crops was based on theirimportance for the individual countries. Maize Production in Sri Lanka is the seventh in the series of country reports. Thisstudy reviews the small farm sector in Sri Lanka and provides an overview of maizecultivation, production and research in the country. The authors highlight thecontraints that are facing the maize producer based on a survey in the Moneragaladistrict of Sri Lanka. According to the report, maize production is still below the national requirementand is cultivated at subsistence levels under the slash-and-burn system. Unless specificpolicy measures are applied, it is unlikely that production will increase. The authorsoutline a number of recommendations to increase the profitability of maize cultivation. I would like to express our appreciation to the authors for their co-operation withCGPRT Centre in undertaking the maize production study in Sri Lanka. I would alsolike to thank the UNDP for its financial support. I am pleased to present this report to the reader and I hope it will increase theawareness of the problems confronting upland agriculture in Sri Lanka.Shiro OkabeDirectorCGPRT Centre xi
  12. 12. Acknowledgements We wish to express our sincere thanks to many individuals who made this studypossible. Particularly, we gratefully acknowledge the untiring efforts of the following fieldofficers who conducted the Field work under very difficult conditions: A.G.Abeysinghe, S. Mendis, M. Muthunayaka, Y.C. Piyaseeli, M. Wimalasena, A.Nadarajha and P. Mallawarachchi. We also appreciate the services of Miss J.T.P. Gunawardena, for the computeranalysis of the data.N.F.C. Ranaweera xii
  13. 13. Summary Maize is primarily a rainfed crop cultivated in the maha season in both settled andshifting (chena) types of highland cultivation. The primary sources of demand formaize are the rural farming population, where maize is consumed both on the cob andas flour and in the provender industry, where it is used in about 25% of the poultryfeed manufactured. Maize is cultivated in all but six districts in Sri Lanka, but it is animportant crop only in the districts of Anuradhapura, Ampara, Badulla, Moneragala,Matale and Batticaloa, where the area is over 2000 ha. These districts, popularly called"the maize belt", account for over 80% of the land planted to maize in the country.The national extent of maize is 23,000-28,000 ha and the annual production is around35,000 t. There is a wide variation in yield among districts, ranging from 0.14 t/ha to6.18 t/ha. Although some maize is imported, there is no clear trend to importing. During theeight-year period 1977-1984, maize was imported in only four years, the largestquantity (4200 t) in 1984. Maize is one of the subsidiary food crops cultivated in the highlands, and ittherefore competes with other crops such as cowpea, green gram, groundnut, chilli andfinger millet for space and inputs. It is often cultivated mixed with these crops. Research on maize in Sri Lanka was initiated in the early 1950s at the agriculturalresearch station Maha Illuppallama, with research on breeding, agronomy, pests anddisease control. Early research was on the improvement of varieties, which resulted inthe release of the first open-pollinated variety, T-48. Later research was conducted onhybrids, but without a continuous source of hybrid seeds, emphasis was redirectedtowards development of open-pollinated varieties. In 1970, the broad-based ThaiComposite was introduced and selections were made to isolate a strain that performedmuch better than T-48. This strain was released as Bhadra 1. Research was alsoconducted and is continuing on fertilizer use, weed control, protein content, early-maturing varieties and drought resistance. A field survey was conducted in Moneragala district, one of the main maize-producing districts in Sri Lanka. Moneragala district lies in the southeastern quadrantof Sri Lanka, and has a large land area and a very low population density. It is a ruraldistrict lacking areas administered by municipal or urban councils. There are two broad climatic zones, the dry and the intermediate, but all areasreceive rainfall during the maha season. Chena cultivation is prevalent and serves as amajor source of food and income. Chenas are mainly under maize, manioc, fingermillet, sesame, chilli, groundnut, green gram and cowpea. There are 12 Agricultural Service Centre (ASC) areas in the district, seven orwhich were randomly selected for the survey. The survey covered broadly the 1984-1985maha season and 1983-1984 maha season. The average family size of the maize-cultivating farmer is 5.5 persons. Howeverone-third of the families surveyed reported having extended families. The averagehousehold size of such families is six persons. Most of the farmers surveyed areeducated, and while the educational level of farmers wives is less than that of farmersthe children have received a better education, reflecting recent improvements iteducational facilities. xiii
  14. 14. A majority of the farmers surveyed are full-time workers on their farms. Withineach district, 86% of farmers farm full-time. Eighty-nine percent of the adult malechildren and 74% of the adult female children assist their parents in farming. A majority of the farmers own their land. Over 90% have a lowland area farm, theaverage extent of lowland per farm is approximately 0.5 ha. The average extent ofhighland per farm is 1.3 ha. Availability of chena varies in different parts ofthe district. While 80% of the farmers in Bibila report having chena, only 14% inWellawaya have chena. The average extent of chena per farm is 0.8 ha. The average size of a farm is 2 ha. Moneragala ASC area has the largest averagefarm size (3.16 ha) and Bibila the smallest (1.29 ha). Approximately one-half of the paddy lands are cultivated under rainfed conditionsand one-third are under minor irrigation systems. Twenty-two percent of paddy landscan be cultivated in both the maha and yala season, but the rest is cultivated only inthe maha season. Highlands and chenas are totally dependent on rainfall and arecultivated only in the maha season. The cropping calendars for lowland, highland andchena are different. During maha, lowland is cultivated only in paddy. In yala, only 1.5% of thefarmers surveyed cultivate other field crops, and 74% do not cultivate at all. A majorityof the farmers cultivate highlands in a mixture of crops. In all ASC areas, maize isreported as a main crop in the mixture. Where pure stands are cultivated, maize is alsomain crop. The extent of maize grown in pure stands is almost the same as its extentas a mixed crop. In chenas, too, maize is a dominant crop whether it is cultivate in apure stand or in a mixture. In both highlands and chenas, more farmers grow maize in crop mixture thancultivate it in pure stands. The traditional mixed-crop system of cultivation has notchanged. The average extent of mixed crop land per farm in highland is 0.42 ha and inchena 0.6-0.7 ha. In highlands, 25% of the farmers surveyed cultivate improved varieties; otherscultivate local and unspecified varieties. However, in chenas more farmers cultivatelocal and unspecified varieties. Seventy percent of farmers use their own seed, and 25%replant maize, for various reasons. The seed rate is not consistent. Except in one ASC area, fertilizer is rarely applied to maize, and if applied theamounts are negligible. No farmers surveyed control pests and diseases. However, allpractise weed control. The cash cost of cultivating one hectare of maize in highlands varies from Rs 172to Rs 912, with a weighted average of Rs 411. If the cost of family labour is added thefull cost varies from Rs 2244 to Rs 4964. The costs under chena conditions are lowerthan under highland conditions. The average yield of maize in highlands is 1160 kg/ha, compared with 1309 kg/hain chenas. Where fertilizer is used, the yields are two to four times greater. Under chenaconditions the increase in yield is not as dramatic as in highlands. Farmers earnings are several times their cash costs, but if the cost of familylabour is added, the net earnings are marginal. The market surplus of maize is 60% of production. The remaining 40%. isconsumed by the farmers household. The surplus is sold in stages. The peak period ofsales is in the first month after harvest. The most common method of marketing maizeis to sell it to traders in the village or in the bazaar. Collecting agents also come to thefarms to purchase maize. xiv
  15. 15. Regression analysis showed that total output is significantly and positively relatedto land, fertilizer and improved varieties. Further analysis showed that farmers areonly 52% efficient. Exposure to agricultural extension, specializing in large-scalemaize cultivation was found to contribute positively to technical efficiency. xv
  16. 16. 1Introduction Maize is cultivated in many districts in Sri Lanka, mainly under rainfedconditions. It is considered primarily a dry zone crop and is one of the main cropscultivated in the highlands. It is cultivated as a pure as well as a mixed crop in bothsettled highlands and in the shifting type of agriculture practised in highlands, calledchena. It is a popular crop, especially among those who practise chena. It is consumedmostly by rural people, in both the cob and flour forms. The main demand for maize,aside from its consumption by the farming family, is in the livestock sector, where itcontributes about 25% of the poultry feed manufactured locally. Consequently there isan increasing emphasis on expanding the extent of land planted under this crop, aswell as on improving the levels of production. Maize is still cultivated in Sri Lanka at a low level of technology, with seeds oflocal or mixed varieties, and minimum or zero inputs, particularly of fertilizers. Twomajor constraints identified for the expansion of the crop acreage are the lack ofmarketing facilities and fair prices.Objectives of the study A study in a typical maize-producing area was undertaken to identify:1. the socio-economic profile of farmers who cultivate maize,2. types and extent of land used for maize cultivation,3. technology adopted by farmers,4. costs and returns of maize cultivation,5. marketing channels used and prices obtained by farmers and consumers,6. constraints on further development, and7. ongoing research and research results available for improvement of maize production.Methodology Major maize-cultivating districts are Anuradhapura, Ampara, Badulla, Monera-gala, Matale and Batticaloa (Table 3.1). Moneragala district was selected for thesurvey as it is centrally situated in this maize-growing region. For agricultural extension purposes, Moneragala district is divided into 11Agricultural Service Centre (ASC) areas (Figure 1.1). Maize is cultivated in all ASC 1
  17. 17. 2 Introductionareas and cultivation practices, for all practical purposes, can be consideredhomogeneous. Of the 11 ASC areas, seven were selected randomly for the first stageof the survey (Table 1.1).Figure 1.1 Moneragala district Agricultural Service Centres. A total of 350 farmers were interviewed for the survey. The sample was distributedequally among the seven selected ASC areas. Within each area the sample of 50
  18. 18. Introduction 3farmers was distributed randomly among four to six villages. In each village, farmerswere selected individually as there is no register of maize-cultivating farmers. Table 1.1 ASC areas selected and farmer sample sizes ASC area Sample size Bibila 50 Moneragala 50 Buttala 50 Badalkumbura 50 S.yambalanduwa 50 Wellawaya 50 Kotagama 50 Total 350 A single-visit, sample-survey technique with a questionnaire was used to collect therequired information. The questionnaire was retested in the district and revised. Itsfour sections included:1. socio-economic background of the cultivators,2. information related to the cultivation of maize in highland and chena,3. utilization of maize, including home consumption, marketing, marketing channels and farm gate prices,4. constraints faced by farmers in increasing the extent of cultivation and productivity, and5. farmers views on improving the cultivation and production of maize. In addition to the farmers, investigators also met many traders at lower and higherlevels of the marketing chain within the district. An open questionnaire was used tointerview four or five traders selected individually from each ASC area.Organization of the report A brief description of the more important physical characteristics of Sri Lankaand salient features of the small farm sector are given in Chapter 2. The agro-ecologicalregions of the country, rainfall pattern, cultivation seasons and small farm sectorcharacteristics such as holding sizes and cropping patterns are discussed in Chapter 2. The main features of maize cultivation in Sri Lanka are given in Chapter 3. Theextent of cultivation, cultivating districts, production and imports of maize arediscussed. The status of research conducted on maize, including earlier studies, currentresearch and anticipated research, is highlighted in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 gives a general description of the main characteristics of Moneragaladistrict, where the survey was conducted. This description serves as background forthe survey results.
  19. 19. 4 Introduction The main chapter of this report is Chapter 6, which gives the survey results. Itcovers both socio-economic and agronomic aspects of maize cultivation in Moneragala.Chapter 6 presents the results of the survey in simple descriptive tables with averagesand percentages. A more detailed analysis of the survey results including regressionsand tabular analysis is given in Chapter 7. Constraints on maize cultivation, based on survey findings as well as on regressionand correlation analysis, are discussed in Chapter 8. Policy recommendations are givenin Chapter 9.
  20. 20. 2Physical Characteristics of Sri Lanka andFeatures of The Small Farm SectorPhysical characteristics The geographical extent of Sri Lanka is 6.56 million ha. The total population isapproximately 15.5 million persons. The agriculture sector accounts for 23.8% of thegross domestic product (GDP), over 52.5% of total export earnings (1985) and 45.5% oftotal employment (1981). Three distinct physiographic regions can be identified within the island: a lowlandpeneplane (sea level to 305 m), a highly dissected middle peneplane (305 m to 915 m)and an upland peneplane (higher than 915 m). Potential land use in the country is determined largely by the pattern of annualrainfall, effects of temperature and elevation, soil characteristics and the degree ofreliability of rainfall. Based on rainfall, vegetation, soils and present land use, threemain agro-climatic zones have been recognized, namely the wet, intermediate and dryzones. The climate is characterised by small variations of temperature and heavy, variablerainfall. The mean temperature ranges from 70-89°F. The annual precipitation follows adistinctly bi-modal pattern and the country receives rainfall from two monsoons: thenortheast monsoon (November to January), referred to locally as the maha season, andthe southwest monsoon (May to September), known locally as the yala season. Thewhole island benefits from the northeast monsoon, but the mountains intercept thesouthwest monsoon and, as a result, the highlands and southwestern portion of theisland receive 190-508 cm of rain per year. This area is the wet zone and comprises 1.53million ha. The remaining 75% of the island, comprising the lowlands to the north andeast, benefits little from the southwest monsoon and receives 89-100 cm of rainfall peryear. This area is divided into a dry and an intermediate zone. In the dry zone (4.17million ha), the bulk of the rainfall occurs during the northeast monsoon. Theintermediate zone (covering 0.85 million ha) has a better rainfall distribution as atransition area between the wet and dry zones (Figure 2.1). There is considerable variation in the amount and reliability of monthly rainfallbetween zones and between locations within a zone. Runoff estimates indicate thatonly 50-60% of the rainfall received is effective. Probability data show that in the wetzone, rainfall is adequate and sufficiently reliable to grow a crop during both seasons.In the dry and intermediate zones, however, only in the maha season is the rainfalladequate for crop production under rainfed conditions. The rainfall in the dry zoneduring the yala season permits the cultivation of only short-aged, drought resistant,arable crops. The three major zones (wet, dry and intermediate) are further divided. Within thewet and intermediate zones, a sub-division based on elevation takes into account thetemperature limitations for the more important crops grown in the country. Theelevation limits correspond to three physiographic units: low-country, mid-country and 5
  21. 21. 6 Physical Characteristics of Sri Lankaup-country. The wet zone has been divided into sub-regions based primarily ondifferences in rainfall and elevation. In the dry zone, the nature of the soils has been themain criterion for identifying individual agro-climatic regions. In the intermediate zone,both these elements receive equal weight.Figure 2.1 Agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka.
  22. 22. Physical Characteristics of Sri Lanka 7 Monthly histograms of anticipated rainfall at the 75% probability level form thebase for identification of individual rainfall regimes on the island. This information hasbeen matched with soil and elevation data to identify 24 district agro-climatic regions(Figure 2.1). The island is divided into 25 administrative districts, ranging in size from 7,224 sqkm (Anuradhapura) to 1,217 sq km (Nuwara Eliya). The boundaries of these districts donot coincide with the agro-ecological regions, however. The bulk of the populationresides in the wet zone, which comprises 25% of the island. The dry zone is sparselypopulated, with the exception of the Jaffna district, which is intensively cultivated by alarge concentration of farmers on very small holdings using groundwater.Small farm sector in Sri Lanka The dominant land form in Sri Lanka, covering about 90% of the land surface, isthat of ridges and valleys, having as basic elements valley bottom, slope and ridge. Thevalley bottom is referred to as the "lowland" and the slope and ridge as "upland" or"highland". Most landholdings contain both lowland and highland, with a part of thehighland demarcated as the home garden. This system, which could be considered thetraditional form of landholding, still prevails in the older villages but appears to bedisappearing in the new settlement schemes, primarily due to government settlementpolicies. A single farm therefore consists of three separate parts, namely, the lowland whererice is usually cultivated, the highland where crops other than rice (such as pulses,coarse grains, yams, tubers and oil seeds) are grown and a home garden wherevegetables and some tree crops are grown and animals are reared. The lowlands andhighlands are usually cultivated in tracts, where the individual holdings of all membersof the village are located. Traditionally, the entire area of the village is surrounded byforest. This physical environment provides the farmers with their food supply, fuel, andforage for the animals. In the small farm sector there are an estimated 1,807,697 operational holdings,covering approximately 1.5 million ha of land (1982). Of these holdings, 557,200 (31%)produce crops and livestock, 1,196,390 (66%) produce crops only, and the balanceproduce livestock only. The number of holdings has increased slightly due tosettlements under the Mahaweli Development Scheme and other schemes. Of the 1.5million ha of cultivated acreage reported, 31% is lowland, 38% is highland and 31% ishome garden. The general distribution is 70% highland to 30% lowland. However, inpractice, only about 25% of the lowland is functional. The farms can be categorized as:1. three-component farms: farms that have the traditional structure and include lowland, highland and home garden;2. two-component farms: any two of the three components are combined; and3. single-component farms: having only one of the three identified elements. The three- and two-component farms cover about 80% of the land cultivated,although they constitute only 48% of the farms. The largest farms are the traditional
  23. 23. 8 Physical Characteristics of Sri Lankathree-component farms, which cover nearly 30% of the land area. The largest of thesethree-component farms (5% of the total farms) cover nearly 25% of the land area. Cropping sequences tend to be determined by the composition of the land held.Farmers tend to cultivate all components of the farm and hence labour distributionamong the components determines crop combinations. Distribution of farms by region is correlated with the density of the ruralpopulation. However, the size of the farms is determined by the availability of land.The farms in the wet zone and the mid- and up-country areas are smaller, while in thedry zone they are larger. Farm-size distribution is another important feature of the small farm sector in SriLanka. Eighty-eight percent of all farms (nearly 47% of land in the small-holding sector)are smaller than 2 ha. Land fragmentation continues to take place due to socialconditions in Sri Lanka. In the future, therefore there will be more "parcels" of small-holdings that will have to be considered when dealing with the small farm sector.Rainfed cropping in dry zone highland Most of the dry zone gets its rainfall from the northeast monsoon and hencefarmers in this zone are usually assured of a single crop. If rainfall is poor andinadequate, a yala-season crop is missed, except for a crop of sesame, which may beobtained from the intermonsoonal rains. In the dry zone, the main type of agriculture in rainfed areas is chena cultivation,which is the traditional slash-and-burn system of crop production. Prior to the onset ofthe rains, farmers slash the jungle and set fire to it. With the first rains in late October,crops such as maize, finger millet, cowpea and sometimes upland paddy are sown. The planting calendar for the chena is illustrated in Figure 2.2. land preparation planting harvesting I ------------------------------- I ---------------I ------------------ I ------------------I ------------ . Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb MarFigure 2.2 Planting calendar for chena. The technology available to the chena farmer requires few inputs and minimizesrisk. It is the first parcel of land that he cultivates and consequently it becomes aninsurance policy against the failure of other crops sown. The produce from chena isprimarily for home consumption. The profitability of chena cultivation is difficult toassess, due to the mixture of crops grown and because no records are maintained ofwhat is consumed by the farmer. Three to four crops are intercropped and expenses,particularly for labour, are difficult to assess. Integration with livestock in the chena is minimal as it is situated at a distancefrom the main landholding, including the homestead. In addition to the chena, upland areas are also cultivated under rainfed conditions.Crops such as paddy, chilli, cowpea, soybean and millet are grown as monocrops.Farmers use inputs such as fertilizer and chemicals for pest and weed control. The levelof management is high and the improved technologies available are used by thefarmers.
  24. 24. 3Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri LankaArea under cultivation Maize is traditionally cultivated during the maha season throughout Sri Lanka,except in the southwest coastal districts (Matara, Galle, Kalutara, Colombo andGampaha) and Kegalle district in the mid-country. The extent of cultivation isrelatively small in the northern districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Mannar,ranging from 25 to 200 ha. Maize is not an important crop in these districts. Majormaize-cultivating districts are Anuradhapura, Ampara, Badulla, Moneragala, Mataleand Batticaloa, where the area of land in cultivation is over 2,000 ha (Table 3.1). Thecultivation in these districts accounts for over 80% of the land planted to maize in SriLanka (Table 3.1). The extent of land planted to maize for each district in Sri Lanka for the period1977-1984 is indicated in Table 3.2. During the 1970s the national figure for landplanted to maize was in the range of 23,000-28,000 ha. This increased in the 1980s.The largest area recorded to date was 47,000 ha in the 1982/1983 maha season.Table 3.1 Main maize cultivation districts of Sri Lanka. 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha 1982/1983 Maha District % Of % Of % Of % Of % Of % Of national national national national national national acreage productions acreage productions acreage productions Anuradhapura 19.55 17.39 18.81 18.33 1758 4.42 Ampara 18.18 15.66 12.55 28.1 21.81 30.44 Badulla 17.66 23.71 19.83 15.09 21.26 18.53 Moneragala 12.53 14.06 11.56 8.88 9.53 8.23 Matale 7.96 8.85 9.24 3.88 7.3 5.49 Batticaloa 7.76 4.31 5.2 6.07 5.97 10.4Source: Dept of Agriculture.Production of maize Sri Lanka produces approximately 35,000 t of maize annually. The highestrecorded production was 50,859 t during the 1982/1983 maha season (Table 3.3).Except for this peak in production, over the years the annual production level hasincreased only slightly. During the 1979/1980 maha season, production was 31,000 t,which gradually increased to 38,600 t in the 1983/1984 maha season. The main cultivating areas are usually the main producing areas. However, sincethe factors that determine the extent of land under cultivation are different from thosethat determine production, the most important, districts for production are notnecessarily those most important for cultivation. This relationship is shown in Table3.1, and in Table 3.4, where the yield per hectare is shown to fluctuate from year to 9
  25. 25. 10 Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lankayear. Even within a season there is a wide variation in yield per hectare among thedistricts. During the 1983/1984 maha season, the yield fluctuated from 0.14 t (inRatnapura district) to 6.18 t (in Mullaittivu district). Even the major producingdistricts (Badulla, Moneragala, Anuradhapura and Batticaloa) show variations in yieldfrom season to season.Table 3.2 Extant of cultivation of maize in ASC districs Unit: hectars District 1977/ 1978/ 1979/ 1980/ 1981/ 1982/ 1983/ 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 Colombo - - - - - - - Gampaha - - 7 - - - - Kalutara - - - - - - - Galle 1 - 3 - - - - Matara 1 - - 4 4 - - Puttalam 706 497 315 543 582 531 972 Kurunegala 716 544 401 1576 866 1536 1026 Kegalle - - - - - - - Ratnapura 1035 552 511 743 583 - 864 Kandy 554 641 206 630 817 485 2291 Matale 777 681 2218 2234 1419 3435 4168 Nuwara Eliya 151 383 389 279 573 663 285 Badulla 4640 5643 7324 5437 5971 10108 9020 Moneragala 3750 3012 2648 4450 3848 4577 5263 Jaffna 4 3 7 4 43 37 44 Vavuniya 84 68 49 70 111 138 118 Mullaitivu - - - 20 14 21 27 Mannar 2 9 16 23 11 26 19 A nuradhapura 5584 3023 2775 3615 5797 8270 8484 Polonnaruwa 782 804 316 610 876 1148 1217 Trincomalee 1179 887 1126 1202 2898 1797 2330 Batticaloa 2445 1555 1309 1921 2518 2810 2345 Ampara 4564 4033 2856 3224 6655 10259 5670 Hambantota 1465 1075 901 707 551 536 630 Udawalawe 191 205 116 184 - 291 - Mahaweli `H - - 871 619 - 608 641 Sri Lanka 28631 23615 24364 28095 34137 47276 45414Source: Dept. of Agriculture Table 3.3 Productions of maize in Sri Lanka Maha Production (t) 1977/1978 33,612 1978/1979 25,505 1979/1980 31,085 1980/1981 34,971 1981/1982 37,619 1982/1983 50,859 1983/1984. 38,641 Source: Dept of Agriculture
  26. 26. Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lanka 11 Table 3.4 Yeild per hectare of maize Unit : kg/ha District 1984/1985 1984/1985 1984/1985 Maha Maha Maha Puttalam 1050 1000 760 Kurunegala 530 1000 680 Ratnapura - 140 - Kandy 1250 1240 1180 Matale 1000 360 810 Nuwara Eliya 300 - 300 Badulla 1210 650 940 Moneragala 990 660 930 Jaffna - 290 4000 Vavuniya 1000 1490 Mullaitivu - 6180 1240 Mannar 1000 - 770 A nuradhapura 800 830 270 Polonnaruwa - 500 3380 Trincomalee 500 - 1200 Batticaloa n.a. 1000 1880 Ampara n.a. 1920 1510 Hambantota 1000 1000 1000 Mahaweli `H 2000 2000 3700 Udawalawe - - Source: Dept of AgricultureImports of maize There is no regular trend in the import of maize to Sri Lanka. The main industrialuse of maize is in the provender industry, and imports are determined by localproduction. During the eight-year period 1977-1984, maize was imported in only fouryears and in varying quantities (Table 3.5). During 1983, the imports were only 21 t(possibly orders placed during 1982). The largest quantity of imported maize (4,200 t) was imported in 1984, nearlytwice the quantity imported in 1982, and four times the quantity imported in 1979.Maize is imported mainly from Thailand, Taiwan and India. Table3.5 Imports of maize Year Imports Value (t) (Rs/t) 1977 - - 1978 - - 1979 1000 2.9 1980 - - 1981 - - 1982 2461 12.3 1983 20.6 0.8 1984 4200 17.1 Source: Dept of AgricultureOther subsidiary food crops All seasonal food crops, other than paddy, are classified as subsidiary food crops,these include coarse grains (maize, sorghum, millet), pulses (cowpea, black and green
  27. 27. 12 Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lankagram, soybean), spices (chilli and onion) and oil crops (sesame). Since all the subsidiaryfood crops are cultivated in highlands (using both permanent and shifting types ofcultivation), some of them compete with maize. Farmers take advantage of the planttype of maize as well as the spacing it allows, and often intercrop maize with othersubsidiary food crops. Main food crops that compete for cultivation with maize arecowpea, green gram, groundnut, chilli and kurakkan (finger millet). The extent of land planted with competing subsidiary food crops (for mahaseasons) is given in Table 3.6. The national extent of land planted to cowpea duringthe maha season ranges from 17,000 to 35,000 ha, and green gram from 10,000 to27,000 ha. Groundnut is cultivated to a lesser extent (6,000-12,000 ha) and chillies arecultivated over an area of 15,000-23,000 ha. The extent of kurakkan is around 7,000-20,000 ha. The production levels of these crops are lower than the production level of maize.The maha season production level of cowpea is about 20,000 t and green gram, chillias well as groundnut range from 10,000 to 15,000 t. Finger millet production level isaround 10,000 t (Table 3.7).Table 3.6 Cultivation of subsidiary food crops other than maize, maha season only Unit: hectares Maha season Cowpea Green gram Groundnut Chilli Kurakkan 1977/1978 19705 10189 6975 23282 17346 1978/1979 25207 10840 4180 11204 10756 1979/1980 17614 10761 7006 13990 7651 1980/1981 27646 11857 9789 14950 12770 1981/1982 20911 12719 11220 14529 13091 1982/1983 34949 19389 11811 18970 19355 1983/1984 27687 26849 6034 15139 16482Table 3.7 Production of subsidiary food crops other than maize, maha season only Unit: hectares Maha season Cowpea Green Groundnut Chilli Kurakkan 1977/1978 15948 6761 6163 16740 14368 1978/1979 15839 8839 3944 6182 8165 1979/1980 16948 10103 11390 11866 5586 1980/1981 28058 13057 11628 11055 1 1119 1981/1982 21084 11307 10413 12109 10752 1982/1983 23184 12708 15943 14930 11233 1983/1984 19115 15213 4733 7197 6570Marketing. of maize The structure of the market for maize is not very different from the market forother subsidiary food crops. In general, there are three significant types ofintermediaries between the producer and the consumer:1. primary assemblers (local collectors, local merchants and co-operatives), who buy the crops directly from the producers;2. intermediate buyers, traders who buy from other traders;
  28. 28. Maize Cultivation and Production in Sri Lanka 133. wholesalers, final purchasers in Colombo or other towns, who buy from primary assemblers or from intermediate buyers. Studies have shown that, in marketing maize, more than 70% of the maizeproduced in various parts of the country passes through primary assemblers. In mostareas, the largest group of primary assemblers (40-60%) are the local traders, followedby local collectors. These studies also indicate that maize producers generally receive81-88% of the wholesale price (in Colombo) of maize.Agricultural extension for maize Agricultural extension for all food crops, including maize, is handled by theDepartment of Agriculture, under the Training and Visit (T&V) system of agriculturalextension. Under the T&V system of agricultural extension, village-level extension officersmeet a pre-identified group of farmers known as contact farmers. Each contact farmeris met by an officer every fortnight on a pre-determined day of the week, and extensionmessages relevant for the current stage of the crop are delivered. The contact farmersin turn inform other farmers ("follower" farmers) about the messages. The extensionofficers also gather information on field problems, which they bring to the attention ofthe research officers.
  29. 29. 4Maize research in Sri LankaEarlier studies on maize The need for improvement of maize production in Sri Lanka was recognized in theearly 1950s and the agricultural research station, Maha Illuppallama, was entrustedwith the task of conducting research on maize related to breeding, agronomy, pest anddisease control. However, with the regionalization of agricultural research, maizeresearch is now conducted at seven stations with Maha Illuppallama as the maincentre. The earliest research on maize was mainly on varietal improvement, which resultedin the release of the first open-pollinated variety (T-48) in the early 1960s. At this timeattempts were also made to develop hybrids locally using the conventional inbred-linetechnique. A few hybrids showed promise but their yield levels, compared with theopen-pollinated varieties, were not high enough to encourage their release. Hybrids introduced from the US were not adapted to local conditions and gavealmost the same or lower yields than the popularly grown, open-pollinated varieties. Hybrids popular in India were introduced and evaluated during the rainy seasonof 1968/1969 at Maha Illuppallama. Grain yield for these hybrids ranged from 3870 to4350 kg/ha, with Ganga-3 hybrid giving about a 32% higher yield than T-48. However,Ganga-3 was not recommended for cultivation as hybrid seed has to be imported everyyear, involving a considerable amount of foreign exchange. At this time thedevelopment of hybrid varieties, without resorting to the conventional procedure ofusing inbred lines, was attempted by crossing selected varieties. These hybrid varietiesare easier and cheaper to produce. The results obtained were encouraging and the besthybrid variety gave a yield of 6540 kg/ha with a yield increase of 38% over T-48.However, seed production was a major problem. Production of hybrid seed is a specialized process and in most advanced countriesthis task is undertaken by private seed companies. In Sri Lanka there are no organizedseed companies that handle the production of hybrid seeds. Moreover, withoutimproved management practices, hybrids may not have any impact on production. Owing to these limitations a maize-improvement programme based on hybrids wasconsidered to, be impracticable and emphasis was directed towards the development ofopen-pollinated varieties, with the following objectives:1. high yield and wide adaptability,2. maturity: 110-115 days,3. shorter plant height with good husk cover,4. resistance to diseases, i.e. stalk rot, leaf blight, banded leaf and sheath spots, 15
  30. 30. 16 Maize Research in Sri Lanka5. tolerance to drought, and6. acceptable grain type (preferably yellow/orange flint).BreedingLocal varieties A wide range of local varieties is grown by the farmers. Almost all local varietiesare flint types and they differ in grain, colour and maturity. Sithamparanathan (1958), after studying the local varieties, came to the followingconclusions.1. The prevalent practice of selecting maize seed for the following season from within a small population of maize in, each individual chena has conceivably led to steady inbreeding of the local maize varieties, particularly when a single variety is grown in a chena and chenas are far apart;2. When different varieties of maize have been grown in adjacent chenas, natural hybridization over the years has probably obliterated all traces of the original varieties.Both conditions are known to exist locally and the indigenous maize varieties maytherefore be expected to be highly mixed or inbred. Table 4.1 shows the performance of some of the local varieties collected fromdifferent maize-growing areas. Most of the local varieties are tall, leafy and late-maturing. They tend to lodge at normal densities and in general their yields are lowerthan those of the improved varieties.Table 4.1 Grain yield ind agronomic data of eight local varieties of maize evaluated during the rainy season of 1981/1982 Variety Days to Plant Ear Yield 50% ht. ht. Lodging % (kg/ha) silking (cm) (cm) Root Stalk Local 1(Mahiyangana) 71 247 156 20 0 4470 Local 2 (Walapane) 68 320 155 7 1 4800 Local 3 (Nidandahinna) 69 236 129 10 2 3867 Local 4 (Mapakada) 68 358 164 13 1 3841 Local 5 (Tabbowa) 2 203 121 21 1 3339 Local 6 (Moneragala) 62 254 151 15 0 3779 Local 7 (Masspanna) 62 257 159 8 2 4369 Local 8 (Anuradhapura) 66 191 93 19 7 2332 Bhadra 1(Check) 64 195 104 0 10 4972 C.V.% 22.65 L.S.D.(P= 0.05) 352 Due to the fact that these local varieties have existed for a long time and due toselection by the farmers, resistance or tolerance to local hazards such as drought, pestsand diseases has developed. In order to retain desirable characteristics of local
  31. 31. Maize Research in Sri Lanka 17varieties, a population was formed by combining local varieties collected from differentmaize-growing areas. Some of the promising varieties introduced from the InternationalMaize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Mexico (CIMMYT), were also incorporatedinto this population. It could serve as a valuable source for developing varieties orhybrids adapted to local conditions.Varietal improvement Since 1968 close links have been established with the Inter-Asian CornImprovement Centre in Thailand and with CIMMYT in Mexico and, as a result, therehas been a regular flow of improved germplasm into the local programme. In 1970 abroad-based composite (Thai Composite), formed by combining 36 varieties, wasintroduced from Thailand. It was a good source for developing varieties owing to itswide genetic base and tropical adaptation. When the original composite was first testedat Maha Illuppallama in 1971, it gave a slightly lower yield than T-48 but it respondedwell to selection. A variety developed from Thai Composite was evaluated in multi-location trials from 1974 to 1977. It gave a mean yield increase of 23% over T-48 (Table4.2). This variety was released in 1977 under the name Bhadra 1. It has now become apopular variety with the farmers.Table 4.2 Mean grain yield of two promising maize varieties evaluated at four locations during the rainy season of 1974/1975 and seven locations in 1975/1976 and 1976/1977 Season Mean Variety yeild 1974/1975 1975/1976 1976/1977 Bhadra 1 4724 3912 4116 4250 Cupurico X Flint Compesto 4031 3932 4109 4024 Local Variety (Check 1) - 2698 - 2698 T - 48 (Check 2) 3493 3394 3466 3451 The process of developing better varieties is also in progress. A composite formedby combining Bhadra 1, Cupurico x Flint Compesto and Poza Rica 7425 (introducedfrom CIMMYT) has shown promise in the multi-location trials conducted from 1981to 1985 and has given 10% greater yield than Bhadra 1.White maize Even though the demand is greater for yellow maize, there is also a limiteddemand for white maize, particularly for the biscuit industry. Across 7843 and Across7929 are two of the white varieties of maize that have shown promise. These varietieswere introduced from CIMMYT.Early-maturing maize varieties Early-maturing varieties are required for drier areas and during the dry season.Varieties that mature in three months are suitable for these situations. Table 4.3 showsthe grain yield of some of the early-maturing maize varieties. These are about one weekto 10 days earlier than Bhadra 1.
  32. 32. 18 Maize Research in Sri Lanka Table 4.3 Mean grain yield of early-maturing maize varieties evaluated at two locations during the rainy season of 1982/1983. Variaty yield (kg/ha) Pop. 31 X Suwas 2 (S) C5 5098 KUC # 2F7 4760 Suwan 2 (S) C7F2 3842 Thai Comp. 1 Early DVR (S) C4 3449 Bhadra I (Check) 4835Quality protein maize Maize is deficient in the essential amino acids lysine and tryptophane. Thisdeficiency is a major constraint on the use of maize in human and animal diets.Normal maize contains 9-11% protein, of which lysine constitutes 2% and tryptophane0.5%. These amino acids should be doubled to 4% lysine and 1% tryptophane to supportnormal body growth. CIMMYT has been able to improve the nutritional quality of maize withoutsacrificing the yield through the use of opaque 2 gene in combination with othergenetic modifiers. These varieties now have better grain characteristics than the soft-endosperm opaque 2 varieties which have reduced yield potential and highsusceptibility to ear rot and stored-grain pests. Several improved-quality-protein maize varieties obtained from CIMMYT weretested under local conditions. Table 4.4 shows the yields of some of the promisingvarieties. Poza Rica 8140 and Across 8140 have given slightly higher yields thanBhadra 1(normal variety). These varieties may be more suitable for areas in Sri Lankawhere maize is traditionally consumed as food. Table 4.4 Mean grain yield of four quality protein maize varieties and one normal variety evaluated at two locations during the rainy season of 1983/1984. Variaty yield (kg/ha) Poca Rica 8140 4419 Acros 8140 4370 Acros 7940 R.E. 3995 San Jeronimo 8140 3781 Bhadra I (normal variety) 3977Agronomic investigationsFertilizer studies Maize is generally grown in a shifting system of cultivation in the highlands of thedry zone where the farmers cultivate the land for two to three seasons after clearing thejungle, and then abandon it. Soils of these newly cleared lands (chenas) have a goodsupply of nutrients and no need for fertilizers for the first few seasons. As a result ofscarcity of land for shifting cultivation, the farmers in future will have to adopt a morestable type of cultivation on the rainfed highlands. When such a system is adopted the
  33. 33. Maize Research in Sri Lanka 19fertility status of the soils will decline rapidly and use of fertilizer will be important tomaintain yield levels. Soils of the major proportion of the highlands of the dry zone where maize isgrown are reddish-brown earths. These are sandy clay loams, slightly acid to neutral inreaction, low in organic matter, nitrogen and available phosphorous. Potassium,however, is present in fair amounts. Several fertilizer experiments were carried out todetermine the optimum rate of NP and K fertilizer. The economical fertilizer rate formost areas was 70 N, 45 P205 and 30 K20 kg/ha. Investigations were also carried out todetermine the effect of split application of nitrogen fertilizer at different growthstages, as time of application of nitrogen fertilizer is important to prevent nutrientlosses due to heavy rains and leaching. Base application of one-quarter of therecommended rate of nitrogen and application of the remaining three-quarters, four tofive weeks after planting, gave the best results.Studies on fertilizer management in the uplands of the dry zone To enable continuous cropping of rainfed highlands, a system of crop cultivationunder simulated forest conditions was initiated by Handawela in 1977. A tree stand ofGliricidia maculata was established in one block and the adjacent block was left barewithout any trees. The purpose of the tree stand was to reduce the pace ofdegeneration of surface soil tilth by reducing erosion and by improving the soilorganic matter level to what is possible under a forest cover, to fix nitrogen, to recyclenutrients and to smother weeds. Tree loppings were added to the simulated forestfields. In both fields the crop and weed residues were left on the ground. Results of a maize experiment conducted in maha season 1983/1984 in these fieldsto study the effect of five levels of nitrogen are presented in Table 4.5. The resultsshow that in the simulated forest fields, zero and low nitrogen treatments (30 kg/ha)gave higher yields than the corresponding treatments in the bare field (without trees).However, at higher levels of nitrogen, the differences were not apparent. Thisexperiment is being continued to gather further information. Table 4.5 Grain yield of maize in simulated forest and bare fields at five nitrogen levels. Unit : kg/ha Levels of nitrogen Simulated forest field Bare field (kg N/ha) 0 3100 1323 30 3215 2822 60 3380 3361 100 3777 3978 150 3788 4116 Mean yield 3452 3120 Sourch: Handawela 1985Studies on plant density Plant density is an important factor that determines the yield of maize. Plantdensity studies were conducted in research stations as well as in farmers fields usingdifferent fertilizer rates with local and recommended varieties. Based on these studies,
  34. 34. 20 Maize Research in Sri Lankathe following recommendations were made:1. with adequate fertilizer and moisture, 55,000 plants/ha (two plants/hill - 60 cm x 60 cm) is best for grain production for improved varieties such as Bhadra 1;2. tall leafy local varieties should be grown at lower densities, 37,000 plants/ha (one plant/hill - 60 cm x 60 cm) to prevent lodging and poor ear development;3. plant density should be reduced at low fertilizer levels or when maize is grown without any fertilizer.Studies on weed control Under shifting cultivations, farmers rarely practise weed control as the incidenceof weeds is minimal. But as the cropping frequency increases beyond two or threeseasons, there is a progressive build-up of weeds. Initially, weed flora include bothbroadleaves and grasses, but if cultivation continues for six years or more the grassyweeds, both perennial and annual types, become more prominant. Common weeds incontinuously cropped lands include grasses such as Chloris barbata Sw., Cynodon dactylon(L.) Pers., Dactylocterium aegyptium (L.) Beauv., Digitaria marginata Link, Eleusine indica(L.) Gaertn., and broadleaves such as Mimosa pudica L., Melochia corchorifolia L., Tridaxprocumbens L., Euphorbia heterophylla L., Sida rhombifolia L., Passiflora foetida L.,Ocimum gratissimum L., Abutilon triloba L., and Acanthospermum hispidium L. Heavy weed growth is one of the factors that reduces the yield of maize incontinuously cropped lands. Yields could be reduced by about 30-40% if weeds were notcontrolled.Methods of weed controlWeeding with land preparation The primary objective of land preparation is to eliminate weeds and provide anenvironment for good germination and vigorous growth of seedlings. In land whereshifting cultivation is practised, minimum tillage methods, such as scraping the soil, aresufficient to get a weed-free seed bed. A blade harrow was found to be an efficientimplement for this purpose. There are other simple and light animal-drawn implementsthat also can be used effectively. More intensive land preparation methods must be used for continuously croppedlands to minimize weed growth. This may involve ploughing followed by one or twoharrowings. Few farmers can afford this type of land preparation.Weedings with inter-cultivation Emergence of weeds after crop establishment is inevitable and the most commonmethod of controlling them is by inter-row weeding. Usually two to three weedings arerequired to control weeds in maize and these weedings must be done during the first30-40 days of crop growth. Several manually operated implements (such as the Swisshoe, wheel hoe and three-point inter-cultivator) were found to be suitable for inter-rowweeding.
  35. 35. Maize Research in Sri Lanka 21Use of herbicides Farmers are not using herbicides for maize. However, studies indicate thatAtrazine and Butachlor are effective as pre-emergent herbicides in controlling weeds.Water requirements and irrigation studies During the rainy season there is a 75% probability that rainfall alone will satisfythe water requirements of a 120-day cereal crop like maize (Panabokke and Walgama1974). However, during the dry season (April-August), the chances of getting asuccessful crop of maize under rainfed conditions are low and the crop must beirrigated during the dry periods. Mean total rainfall for the dry season varies from 300-400 mm, most of which falls during the month of April. The dry season is alsocharacterized by high temperatures and strong dry winds. Average maximum and minimum temperatures are 34°C and 24°C respectively.Relative humidity is around 80% and wind speeds are nearly 165 km per day for theseason. The "Class A pan" evaporation rates are high and often exceed 5-6 mm perday. The reddish-brown earths have a narrow range of available moisture. Theavailable moisture per metre of soil is 135 mm and about 85% of this is released at atension of one atmosphere. The total water requirement of a 115-day maize crop during the dry season atMaha Illuppallama was found to be 615 mm. Maize yields decreased significantlywhen irrigated below the 50% depletion level of available soil moisture. Grain yield ofmaize, when irrigated at 50% depletion level of available moisture, was 4100 kg/ha,whereas at 75% depletion level, the yield dropped to 2226 kg/ha. Thus, due to theadverse weather and soil conditions, maize grown during the dry season has to beirrigated at least once every three-to-four days to prevent moisture stress.Research activities - continuing planned breedingDevelopment of hybrids In addition to the programme for the development of open-pollinated varieties ofmaize, a programme will be initiated to develop hybrids as they will have a muchgreater impact on production.Breeding for shorter plant height There is a wide yield gap between temperate and tropical maize. There are factorsin addition to low management that contribute to low yield levels in tropical maize.Research done at CIMMYT shows that tropical maize is not "grain efficient" becauseit is too tall, leafy and subject to lodging. It also has a large tassel and low grain/stalkratio. CIMMYTs physiologists have shown that reducing the plant height of tropicalmaize improves its yield. In order to develop shorter plant-height varieties, a population has been developedusing a local variety and another introduced from CIMMYT. This population isundergoing improvement.
  36. 36. 22 Maize Research in Sri LankaSelection for drought tolerance Maize will continue to be grown under rainfed conditions and it is important toincorporate drought tolerance in these varieties. A programme will be undertaken tobreed for drought tolerance.Breeding for disease resistance Some common diseases observed in maize are leaf blight, stalk rot, and bandedleaf and sheath spot. Breeding for resistance to these diseases will be continued.Agronomic investigations1. Fertilizer trials in farmers fields to determine the economic levels.2. Investigation of efficient methods of fertilizer application to minimize wastage and loss.3. Plant density studies using newly developed varieties.4. Inter-cropping studies using different crop combinations.5. Studies of avenue cropping using leguminous trees such as ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala Link) and Gliricidia (Gliricidia maculata Steud.) to improve the physical, biological and chemical properties of soil.6. Studies of simple and less expensive methods of weed control.7. Studies of irrigation.
  37. 37. 5Characteristics of Moneragala DistrictPhysical featuresArea and population Moneragala district lies in the southeastern quadrant of Sri Lanka. It has thelargest land area among the districts, with 5587 sq km (8% of Sri Lanka). Itspopulation is 273,000 (1981) with an average density of 10 persons per sq km. Thisdensity is very low compared with the national average, of around 193 per sq km. Thedistrict is essentially rural. The districts of Hambantota, Ratnapura, Badulla andAmpara form the boundaries of Moneragala district (Figure 1.1). Moneragala is one of the few districts without an urban agglomeration. Thelargest population concentration within the district is 100 to 150 persons per sq km inthe small area of Medagama, Badalkumbura and Moneragala Assistant GovernmentAgents divisions, which lies in the centre and along the western border. Theremaining vast expanses stretching to the southern, northern and eastern boundariesare very sparsely inhabited, with less than 50 persons per sq km. Moneragala has no urban areas administered by municipal or urban councils. Theonly locality with any urban character is the Moneragala Town Council, where only2.2% of the population lives. The total labour force is estimated at about 76,000 persons and the majority areengaged in work in the agricultural sector. School-age children constitute a majorportion of the total population. The school attendance of the 10 to 14-year-olds improved from 54.4% in 1971 to78.8% in 1981. Among the older children of 15-19 years, school attendance improvedfrom 20.5% to 32.6%. Of all the employed persons, 73.5% are in agricultural occupations (males 74.7%and females 66.6%). Moneragala district has a fairly low unemployment rate of 9.2%. Unemployment is12.6% in the urban sector and 9.2% in the rural sector.Climate Moneragala district has two broad climatic zones: the dry zone in the south andeast and the intermediate zone in the northwest. Annual and seasonal rainfall varieswidely. The seasonal rainfall pattern is markedly bi-modal. All areas receive rainfallduring the October-December period from the northeast monsoon (maha). A shorterperiod of rainfall is also experienced in all areas during April from the southwestmonsoon (yala). Mean annual rainfall generally increases from about 122 cm inThanamalwila and Kataragama areas to 254 cm in the northwest. Nearly half of thedistrict receives a mean annual rainfall of 190 cm. In general, rainfed cultivation ispossible in the maha season, and yala cultivation is possible only with supplementaryirrigation, especially in the dry zones. 23
  38. 38. 24 Characteristics of Moneragala DistrictTopography and soils Elevation within the district varies from 656 m above mean sea level in the southto 6560 m in the northeast. Most of the areas are plane or gently undulating withfrequent patches of rock-knob hills. The common soil group within the district is the reddish brown earths, alternatingwith low-humic clays. Immature brown loams appear on the steeper slopes, while inthe areas around Moneragala towns there are localized Red-Yellow Podzolic soils withstrongly mottled sub-soils or with hard and soft laterites.Water resources and drainage The major rivers are the Walawe, Krindi-Oya, Menik Ganga, Kumbukkan-Oyaand Gal-Oya. Many of these streams feed irrigation tanks. Within the district there aremajor irrigation tanks serving 1820 ha, with a cultivated area of 2168 ha, and anicut(raised irrigation water distribution canals) schemes serving a cultivated area of 2550ha. The Department of Agrarian Services administers 2834 ha cultivated under minorirrigation schemes. The number of major and minor irrigation tanks under different ASC areass areshown in Table 5.1Table 5.1 Major and minor irrigation tanks in ASC areas ASC No. of major tanks No. of minor tanks Kataragama - 5 Thanamalwila 2 44 Wallawaya 5 14 Buttala 8 5 Moneragala 2 6 Badalkumbura - 21 Madagama 1 55 Bibila 3 29 Kotagama - 5 Dambagalla 1 5 Siyambalanduwa 2 6 Muthukandiya 1 - Total 25 195 Chena cultivation is prevalent and serves as a major source of food and income.Paddy cultivation is normally delayed in maha season due to operations in chena andthis delay results in low productivity and reduced capacity in tanks for yala cultivation.Land use ]The total land area of the district is 558,898 ha. National parks occupy 63,967 ha.Only 60,728 ha are utilized for agricultural purposes: 5668 ha are under forests,25,910 ha are under perennial crops, 10,242 ha are under paddy, 12,955 ha undertemporary crops (mainly chena) and 133 ha are under pasture lands. The traditional export crops are tea, rubber and coconut, and these occupy 1270ha, 3615 ha and 2327 ha respectively. Remaining crop areas are mainly home gardens.Sugar-cane-and other subsidiary food crops cover 4736 ha.
  39. 39. Characteristics of Moneragala Distric 25 Chenas are mainly under maize, manioc, kurakkan, sesame, chilli, groundnut,green gram and cowpea. Most chena cultivations are in the dry zone. There are 32,350 operational holdings, with an average holding size of 1.6 ha.Paddy holdings constitute only 13,454 holdings or 41.6% of the total, with an averagesize of 0.6 ha. A large portion of the holdings is illegal encroachments on crown land. The area under major crops in Moneragala district during 1984/1985 maha and1985 yala is given in Table 5.2. Table 5.2 Extent of major crops in Moneragala district Extent in 1984/1985 Extent in 1985 Crop maha yala Paddy 10681 4129 Chilli 768 68 Maize 4639 35 Finger millet 1586 92 Cowpea 2227 632 Green gram 1074 232 Groundnut 1279 673 Sesame 236 969 Cassava 1707 258Agricultural extension service Agricultural officers, agricultural instructors and village-level extension officers(KVSS) work in the main offices in Moneragala and in 12 ASC regions. The spread ofstaff within the district is shown in Table 5.3. Table 5.3 agricultural extension service staff in Moneragala district Main office Asst. Director of Agriculture 1 Agricultural instructors 1 KVSS 3 Subject matter officers 3 Field stations Agricultural officers 1 Agricultural instructors 9 KVSS 60 Subject matter officers 8
  40. 40. 6Result of the Socio-Economic Survey of MaizeCultivationFamily informationFamily composition The average family size of maize-cultivating farmers in Moneragala district is 5.5persons. The largest families are among the farmers in Siyambalanduwa ASC, with 6.3members, and the smallest in Wellawaya, with 5.1 members (Table 6.1). More familiesin Bibila report having adult male children than in any other ASC area. Overall, 45% offamilies have adult male children and 39% of families have adult female children. Theaverage number of adult males and females per family is approximately the same,around 1.75. In addition to the children of the family, about one-third of the familiesreport having close members of the extended family, namely, brothers, sisters, in-laws,parents. The average household or extended family size is therefore 6.0.Table 6.1 Family composition. Ave. Male Adult Female Adult Other Average ASC family Children males children females members hosehold area size over 16 over 16 sizea yrs yrs Bibila 5.8 1.4 60 1.4 52 38 6.4 Moneragala 5.3 1.7 42 2.0 30 88 6.0 Buttala 5.2 1.6 40 2.1 30 34 6.5 Badalkumbura 5.4 1.8 42 1.6 44 20 5.9 Siyambalanduwa 6.3 2.4 54 1.9 42 4 6.4 Wellawaya 5.1 1.7 32 1.5 34 12 5.3 Kotagama 5S 1.8 42 1.5 42 12 5.9 Dist. ave. 5.5 1.8 44.5 1.7 39.1 29.7 6.0a including other memberEducational level About 7% of farmers in the district have not received any education, butMoneragala and Buttala ASC areas report higher percentages of farmers without anyeducation. Nearly one-third of the farmers in these areas have received an education upto the 5th Standard and another one-third up to the 8th Standard. Senior SchoolCertification (SSC) has been achieved by 16% of farmers, who are mostly young (Table6.2). Farmers wives have a lower level of education, as indicated in Table 6.3. Twenty-one percent of wives have no education, and 40% have studied only up to the 5thStandard. However, the percentage of SSC-qualified wives is about the same as forhusbands. 27

×