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    Maize production in sri lanka Maize production in sri lanka Document Transcript

    • 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
    • Maize Production in Sri Lanka
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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;
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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,
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 28 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation Compared with their parents, the adult children in the farming families havereceived a better education, reflecting improvements in the educational facilities. Fifty-three percent of adult children have achieved the SSC. Only 4% of children have noeducation (Table 6.4).Table 6.2 Educational level of the farmers unit: % farmers ASC No Up to 5th 6th to 8th Above SSCa area education standard standard SSC Bibila 6 24 62 8 - Moneragala 10 40 24 24 2 Buttala 10 42 26 16 6 Badalkumbura 8 34 32 24 2 Siyambalanduwa 6 46 40 6 2 Wellawaya 6 44 36 12 2 Kotagama 4 32 44 20 - Dist. ave. 7.1 37.4 37.7 15.7 2a senior School CertificateTable 6.2 Educational level of farmers’ wives unit: % wives ASC No Up to 5th 6th to 8th Above SSC area education standard standard SSC Bibila 8.2 40.8 40.8 10.2 - Moneragala 17.1 34.1 19.5 29.3 - Buttala 30.2 30.2 18.6 21.0 - Badalkumbura 18.6 39.5 25.6 11.6 4.7 Siyambalanduwa 26.5 49.0 16.3 6.1 2.0 Wellawaya 26.7 35.5 26.7 6.7 4.4 Kotagama 17.8 51.1 13.3 17.8 - Dist. ave. 20.6 40.3 23.2 14.3 1.6Table 6.2 Educational level of children over 16 years of age unit: % children ASC No Up to 5th 6th to 8th Above SSC area education standard standard SSC Bibila - 4.8 44.0 38.1 7.1 Moneragala 3.1 15.4 22.0 32.3 29.2 Buttala 7.9 22.2 22.2 23.8 23.8 Badalkumbura 4.1 13.9 26.4 36.1 19.4 Siyambalanduwa 3.8 19.2 35.6 30.8 10.6 Wellawaya 5.7 11.3 39.6 30.2 13.2 Kotagama 2.8 7.0 11.3 56.3 22.5 Dist. ave. 3.7 13.6 29.4 35.9 17.3Participation of family in farming Most farmers work full-time on their own farms. Over 90% are full-time farmers inthree of the seven ASC areas. On a district basis, 86% of farmers farm full-time (Table6.5). The full-time involvement of farmers wives in the farm is difficult to isolate. Insome cases wives are working a full day on the farm while attending to householdwork as well. According to their own classification, most of the wives are involved in
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 29farm work on a part-time basis, except in Kotagama and Bibila ASC areas, where mostwork a full day on their farms. In addition to the farmer and his wife, adult children alsowork on the farm. Eighty-nine percent of adult males and 74% of adult femalesassist their parents. Nearly half the adult males work full-time. Most of the females arepart-time workers. Only 27% of young children assist in the farm work on a part-timebasis (Table 6.6).Table 6.5 Participation of farmer and wife in activities of the farm. Unit: % reporting Farmer Wife ASC area Full- time Full- time Full- time Part-time Bibila 92 8 65.3 32.6 Moneragala 82 18 - 95.1 Buttala 72 28 - 93.0 Badalkumbura 84 16 44.2 55.8 Siyambalanduwa 86 14 - 89.8 Wellawaya 94 6 20.0 75.5 Kotagama 90 10 84.4 13.3 Dist. ave. 85.7 14.3 31.1 64.4Table 6.6 Participation of farmer and wife in activities of the farm. Unit: % reporting Males over Females over Children under 16 yrs 16 yrs 16 yrs ASC area Full time Part time Full time Part time Full time Part time on farm on farm on farm on farm on farm on farm Bibila 51.2 44.2 5.5 94.4 - 35.6 Moneragala 17.1 65.7 - 70.0 - 12.1 Buttala 37.5 62.5 - 67.7 - 9.7 Badalkumbura 40.5 43.2 11.4 71.4 - 37.1 Siyambalanduwa 78.1 6.2 - 10.0 - 2.6 Wellawaya 53.5 28.5 12.0 84.0 - 41.6 Kotagama 38.5 59.0 37.5 62.5 - 50.0 Dist. ave. 48.5 40.6 9.2 63.7 - 27.1 About 27% of farmers are involved in work outside their farms. This figureindicates that some farmers who work full-time on the farm, work in some otheremployment as well; this is possible due to differences in the nature and time-frame oftheir work. Most of those who have outside employment work as unskilled labourers.Other jobs are divided equally among trading, the public sector, the private sector andself-employment (Table 6.7). In ASC areas other than Buttala and Badalkumbura, less than 10% of the familiesreport having children who work outside their farms (Table 6.8). These data show that farmers in this district work primarily on their own farmswith considerable assistance from their families. It is common knowledge that most ofthe farmers are involved as labourers or partners in illegal gem-mining in the jungle.Some are also involved in illegal cultivation of narcotics. These sources of additionalincome to the family are not reflected in the survey results.
    • 30 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationTable 6.7 nature of outside employment of farmer. Nature of Employment Farmers in ASC area outside ordinary Skilled Public Private employment Treder Other labourer labourer Sector sector Bibila 4 - - - 4 - - Moneragala 24 4 4 8 2 - 6 Buttala 56 24 4 - - 16 72 Badalkumbura 40 24 2 4 10 - - Siyambalanduwa 12 2 - 2 4 2 2 Wellawaya 42 30 - 8 4 - - Kotagama 12 - 2 4 4 - 2 Dist. ave. 27.1 12.0 1.7 3.7 4 2.8 2.8 Table 6.8 Families reporting children with outside employment ASC area % families Bibila 4 Moneragala 8 Buttala 16 Badalkumbura 16 Siyambalanduwa 2 Wellawaya 8 Kotagama 4 Dist. ave. 8.3Land, tenure, farm sizeAvailability of different types of land Since Moneragala district is in the dry zone, the farming system involves threeland types (Table 6.9): lowlands, where paddy is cultivated; highlands, where thehomestead and the home garden are located; and chena, where shifting cultivation ispractised in highlands. Over 90% of farmers report availability of lowland in two ASCareas, over 70% in three ASC areas, with a district average of 70%. More farmers reporthaving highland than lowland; in fact almost all the farmers have some highland.Table 6.9 Availanility of different types of land ASC Lowland Highland Chena area availiability availiability availiability Bibila 98 100 80 Moneragala 78 98 48 Buttala 76 90 50 Badalkumbura 68 94 68 Siyambalanduwa 76 100 32 Wellawaya 60 100 14 Kotagama 96 96 26 Dist. ave. 78.9 96.9 45.5
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 31Availability of chenas varies in different parts of the district, depending on theavailability of jungle land. While 80% of farmers in Bibila report having chenas only 14%in Wellawaya report the same. Overall, 45% of farmers reported having chena in thesurvey.Extent of different types of land tenureLowland In all parts of the district except Buttala, a majority of farmers own their land. Inthree ASC areas over 70% of farmers own their land, while in another three ASC areasover 50% report the same. On the average, 61 % of farmers have their own land and 19%rent and/or lease land. Nearly one-fifth of the farmers have no lowland (Table 6.10). Regardless of the tenurial status, the average extent of lowland held by a farmer isapproximately 0.5 ha. The average extent of lowland held by farmers in Buttala is alittle larger than the district average, and in Badalkumbura it is half the district average(Table 6.11).Table 6.10 Tenurial status of lowland. Unit: % farmers Own Rent/lease Encroached No ASC area land land land highland Bibila 76 20 2 2 Moneragala 58 26 - 22 Buttala 34 42 6 24 Badalkumbura 58 12 2 32 Siyambalanduwa 76 - - 24 Wellawaya 54 6 - 40 Kotagama 74 28 2 4 Dist .Ave 61.4 19.1 1.7 21.1Table 6.11 Average extent of lowland Unit: % hectares a a a ab ASC area Own Rent/lease Encroach Lowland Bibila 0.43 0.22 0.20 0.38 Moneragala 0.51 0.33 0.40 0.51 Buttala 0.64 0.62 0.54 0.67 Badalkumbura 0.24 0.15 0.40 0.24 Siyambalanduwa 0.56 - - 0.56 Wellawaya 0.50 0.83 - 0.50 Kotagama 0.46 0.54 0.61 0.52 Dist .Ave 0.47 0.45 0.45 0.49a Reporting averageb Regardless of tenureHighland Almost all the farmers own their highlands and very few have rented or leasedland in the highlands. Only 3% of all farmers report having no highlands. Sixteenpercent of farmers report encroachments (Table 6.12). The average extent of highland holdings is larger than that of lowland holdings and
    • 32 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivationis around 1.3 ha. The Moneragala ASC area reports relatively large highland holdings(2.26 ha) while the area in Bibila is only 0.5 ha (Table 6.13).Table 6.12 Tanurial status of highland Unit: % farmers Own Rent/lease Encroached No ASC area land land land highland Bibila 100 - - - Moneragala 76 20 18 2 Buttala 80 - 26 10 Badalkumbura 90 2 8 6 Siyambalanduwa 100 - 48 - Wellawaya 90 6 4 - Kotagama 94 2 6 4 Dist .Ave 90 4.3 15.7 3.1Table 6.13 Average extent of highland Unit: % hectares a a a ab ASC area Own Rent/lease Encroach Lowland Bibila 0.55 - - 0.55 Moneragala 2.08 1.73 1.58 2.26 Buttala 1.28 - 1.40 1.55 Badalkumbura 0.92 0.87 1.56 0.95 Siyambalanduwa 1.37 - 1.19 1.94 Wellawaya 0.90 0.73 1.00 0.90 Kotagama 0.79 0.81 0.57 0.83 Dist .Ave 1.09 1.41 1.22 1.28a Reporting averageb Regardless of tenureChena While 54% of farmers report having no chena, in the ASC areas of Wellawaya andKotagama, at least seven out of ten farmers have chena. Only a few farmers own landin chenas (16%) and fewer rent or lease in chenas (2%). As chenas are often illegallycultivated jungle patches, 24% of all farmers (i.e., 52% of chena owners) report them asencroached land (Table 6.14).Table 6.14 Tanurial status of chena Unit: % farmers reporting Own Rent/lease Encroached No ASC area land land land highland Bibila 38 2 20 20 Moneragala 6 4 40 52 Buttala 34 - 18 50 Badalkumbura 12 4 42 32 Siyambalanduwa - - 32 68 Wellawaya 2 2 10 86 Kotagama 20 2 4 74 Dist .Ave 16 2 23.7 54.5
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 33 The average extent of owned or encroached chena is approximately 0.8 ha. Largerareas are reported in three ASC areas, where the average is greater than one ha. Thesmallest chena size is reported in Badalkumbura, Kotagama and Bibila ASC areas,where the highland areas are also limited (Table 6.15).Table 6.15 Average extent of chena Unit: % hectars a a a ab ASC area Own Rent/lease Encroach Chena Bibila 0.64 0.40 0.58 0.63 Moneragala 1.48 0.81 1.06 1.14 Buttala 1.40 - 1.16 1.37 Badalkumbura 0.37 0.30 0.53 0.47 Siyambalanduwa - - 1.06 1.06 Wellawaya 0.80 0.60 0.80 0.77 Kotagama 0.61 0.40 0.30 0.55 Dist .Ave 0.88 0.52 0.83 0.91a Reporting averageb Regardless of tenureAverage farm size Considering the availability of all three types of land (regardless of the tenure), theaverage extent of a farm in the survey area is 2 ha. Moneragala ASC area has thelargest farm size ( 3.16 ha) followed by Buttala ASC area (2.58 ha). The smallest farmsize is in Bibila where the average is 1.29 ha (Table 6.16). The overall average extent oflowland is 0.38 ha, highland 1.24 ha and chena 0.36 ha.Table 6.16 Average farm size ASC area Lowland Highland Chena Farm Bibila 0.37 0.55 0.36 1.29 Moneragala 0.40 2.21 0.55 3.16 Buttala 0.51 1.39 0.68 2.58 Badalkumbura 0.16 0.89 0.32 1.37 Siyambalanduwa 0.43 0.94 0.34 1.71 Wellawaya 0.32 0.89 0.11 1.32 Kotagama 0.50 0.79 0.14 1.43 Dist .Ave 0.38 1.24 0.36 1.98Cropping calendarLowland Cultivation possibilities in lowlands depend primarily on the availability of water,the sources of which are irrigation systems (major and minor) and rainfall. Asindicated in Table 6.17, 57% of paddy land is cultivated under rainfed conditions and29% is cultivated using minor irrigation systems. In Siyambalanduwa ASC area almostall the paddy lands are cultivated under rainfed conditions. The rainfall during the yala season in the dry zone is not as consistent as in thewet zone. Since the sources of water for minor irrigation systems are small tanks,
    • 34 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivationwhich are filled by rainfall, both rainfed and minor irrigation paddy cultivation couldfail in the yala season. Table 6.18 indicates the growing seasons for lowlands. Most ofthe paddy lands can be cultivated only in the maha season. Only 22% of paddy landscan be cultivated in both maha and yala seasons. In the Bibila, Moneragala,Siyambalanduwa, Wellawaya and Kotagama ASC areas, over 80% of lowlands arecultivated as paddy only in the maha season. Farmers report that the maha season commences in the first week of Novemberand ends in the fourth week of March (Table 6.19). The yala season starts in thesecond week of May and ends in the last weeks of August. However, in Buttala andWellawaya, farmers reports that the maha season commences about a month ahead ofother ASC areas.Table 6.17 Cultivation of lowland under different types of irrigation Unit: % of total area Under major Under major Under ASC area irigation irigation rainfed Bibila - 37.6 62.4 Moneragala 4.5 27.5 68.0 Buttala 57.2 28.1 14.7 Badalkumbura - 72.1 27.9 Siyambalanduwa - 3.8 96.2 Wellawaya 22.1 29.7 48.1 Kotagama - 30.6 69.4 Dist .Ave 14.2 28.7 57.1Table 6.18 Lowland cultivation calendar. Unit: % total lowland ASC area Maha only Maha and Yala Bibila 100.0 - Moneragala 82.9 17.1 Buttala 28.2 71.8 Badalkumbura 55.2 44.8 Siyambalanduwa 96.2 3.8 Wellawaya 92.6 7.4 Kotagama 86.8 13.2 Dist .Ave 78.4 21.6Table 6.19 Lowland cultivation calendar. Maha Yala ASC area Starting Ending Starting Starting period period period period month-week month-week month-week month-week Bibila 11 - 1 3-4 - - Moneragala 11 – 1 3-4 5-1 8-3 Buttala 10 - 1 1- 4 5-1 8-4 Badalkumbura 11 – 2 3-4 5-1 9-1 Siyambalanduwa 11 - 1 3-2 - - Wellawaya 10 - 1 2- 3 Not Significant Kotagama 11 -2 3-4 5-2 9-1
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 35Highland Highland is totally dependent on rainfall and is cultivated only in the mahaseason. Unlike the lowland, farmers cultivate highland with the onset of rains. There isno need to accumulate water as there are no puddling operations. Depending on therainfall distribution, cultivation in the highlands commences any time during themonths of September and October. The season ends in the months of January (last twoweeks) and February (Table 6.20).Table 6.20 Highland cultivation calendar. Maha Yala Starting Ending Starting Starting ASC area period period period period month-week month-week month-week month-week Bibila 9-1 2–4 - - Moneragala 10 – 1 1–4 - - Buttala 10 – 1 1–2 - - Badalkumbura 9–2 2–2 - - Siyambalanduwa 9–2 1–2 - - Wellawaya 10 – 2 2–4 - - Kotagama 10 - 2 2-2 - -Chena Since chena is also a highland form of cultivation, the cultivation pattern is similarto that of highland (Table 6.21).Table 6.21 Chena cultivation calendar. Maha Yala Starting Ending Starting Starting ASC area period period period period month-week month-week month-week month-week Bibila 9-1 2–4 - - Moneragala 9–4 1–4 - - Buttala 10 – 2 1–4 - - Badalkumbura 9–4 2–2 - - Siyambalanduwa 9–4 1–4 - - Wellawaya 10 – 2 2–2 - - Kotagama 10 - 1 2-1 - -Cropping patternLowland During the 1984/1985 maha season all the lowlands (except those held by a fewfarmers in Wellawaya who did not cultivate) were cultivated to paddy (Table 6.22).During the 1985 yala season, 74% of the farmers did not cultivate their lowlands, 24%cultivated paddy and only 1.5% cultivated other crops in lowlands. Cultivation of othercrops was limited to three ASC areas.
    • 36 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationTable 6.22 Crops cultivated in lowland unit: % farmers reporting 1984/1985 Maha 1985 Yala ASC area Others No Others No Paddy Paddy crops crops crops crops Bibila 100 - - - - 100.0 Moneragala 100 - - 23.1 5.1 71.8 Buttala 100 - - 55.3 - 44.7 Badalkumbura 100 - - 61.8 2.9 35.3 Siyambalanduwa 100 - - - 2.6 97.4 Wellawaya 93.3 - 6.6 10.0 - 90.9 Kotagama 100 - - 18.7 - 81.3 Dist. Ave 100 - 1.0 24.1 1.5 74.3Highland In the 1984/1985 maha season, 27% of farmers did not cultivate highland. Most ofthe farmers (54%) cultivated a mixture of crops. (This is the traditional method:depending on the nature of the crops, seeds are mixed or crops are planted in patches,randomly mixed or as underplants). This method is more prominent inSiyambalanduwa, Wellawaya, Buttala and Moneragala ASC areas (Table 6.23). Thecrops in the mixture differ among ASC areas, but maize is reported as a main crop inall ASC areas. Other main crops are cassava, cowpea, green gram, finger millet,groundnut and long beans (me). Where these crops are not the main crops, they aregrown as minor crops in the mixture. Other minor crops are chilli, vegetables andhighland paddy. Highland paddy is cultivated by only a few farmers. Pure stands of crops are cultivated by 31% of farmers in the highlands, withKotagama ASC area reporting 62.5%. Maize is prominent among the main crops. Othermain crops include cassava, tobacco, green gram and cowpea. In Wellawaya ASC area,most farmers cultivate mixed crops; very few have a pure maize stand. Average area of crops cultivated in highlands is given in Table 6.24. With theexception of Moneragala and Siyambalanduwa, there is little difference between theextent under pure crop stands and under mixed crops within most ASC areas.However, when there is more than one main crop in a pure stand, the area undermaize is larger than that of the other pure crops.Table 6.24 Extent of cultivation in highland. Unit hectares 1984/1985 Maha 1985 Yala Ave ASC area Main Main Ave II Pure Ave extent Ave pure pure extent crop extent crop extent crop crop mix Bibila Maize 0.42 Manioc 0.17 0.42 - - Moneragala Maize 0.30 Paddy 0.22 0.43 - - Buttala Maize 0.59 Cowpea 0.22 0.52 Gingelly 0.53 cowpea, Badalkumbura Maize 0.30 Tobbaco 0.50 0.26 0.24 groundnut Siyambalanduwa Cowpea 0.22 Maize 0.81 0.82 - - Wellawaya - - - - 0.57 - - Kotagama Maize 0.23 - - 0.24 - -
    • Table 6.23 Cropping pattern in higland – 1984/1985 maha As a pure crop As a nixed crop ASC area % Farmers % Farmers % Farmers % Farmers not Main crops Main crops Other crops having highland cultivating cultivating cultivating Bibila 100.0 10.0 Maize manioc, 52.0 Kurakkan 32.0 Maize manioc me Moneragala 98.0 18.0 Maize, paddy 61.2 Chilli, groundnut 30.6 Maize cowpea manioc kurakkan, vegetables Buttala 90.0 21.0 Maize, cowpea, 76.3 Maize, cowpea, Chilli, groundnut 26.6 green gram green gram me Badalkumbara 94.0 10.0 Maize, tobacco 25.5 Maize, finger - 44.7 millet cowpea Siyambalanduwa 100.0 15 Maize, cowpea, 62.0 Maize, Cowpea, manioc, 24.0 paddy finger millet paddy, chilli Wellawaya 100.0 1.0 Maize 84.0 Maize, cowpea, Chilli 14.0 groundnut green gram Kotagama 96.0 30.0 Maize 18.7 Maize, finger manioc 20.8 millet, me Dis. Ave. 98.86 10.5 - 53.92 27.43
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 38Chena Unlike the highlands (which are permanent holdings), chena lands are prepared forthe season, and hence are almost always cultivated (Table 6.25). All but 1.3% of farmersreported cultivating chena during the 1984/1985 maha season. Since chenas aretraditional slash-and-burn systems, chena cultivation uses the traditional method ofmixed cropping. Eighty percent of farmers reported mixed cropping in chenas, and inSiyambalanduwa, Bibila and Badalkumb.ura ASC areas almost all farmers had at leasta patch of mixed-crop chena. However, many farmers (85%) in Kotagama cultivatedchenas with pure crop stands. Maize dominates as the main crop in chenas as well as in the highlands. In cropmixtures, maize is often the main crop. Main crops other than maize are finger millet,cowpea and green gram. As in the highlands, chilli and highland paddy are minorcrops in the mixture. When chenas are cultivated in pure stands, maize is cultivated bymany farmers. Other pure-stand crops are chilli, cowpea and vegetables. The average extent of crop mixture ranges from 0.5 to 0.75 ha. Pure stands ofmaize range from 1 to 2 ha. Pure stands of other crops are cultivated in smaller areas,ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 ha.Permanent cropsHighland Table 6.26 lists the average number of various permanent crops per holdingreported for different ASC areas. Bananas are the most widely planted permanent cropin many ASC areas and are planted in larger numbers than other crops. Citrus crops,especially lime, are also cultivated extensively in this district. Sugar-cane for smallindustries is also a major perennial crop.Chena Although chenas are temporary farm lands and are prepared only at the beginningof the maha season, some farmers in a few of the ASC areas have planted permanentcrops in chenas. These crops are mainly banana and lime (Table 6.27).Maize cultivationNature of maize crop stands The foregoing analysis indicates that maize is cultivated in Moneragala districtboth as a pure stand and as a mixed crop with other food crops. Maize is cultivated inhighlands as well as in chenas. Table 6.28 presents data on the nature of maize crop stands in the highlands in the1983/1984 and 1984/1985 maha seasons. Similar data for chena lands is shown in Table6.29. In both highlands and chena, a mixed cropping system is used by more farmersthan the pure stand system. While 71% of farmers owning highlands cultivate maizeas a mixed crop, 83% of farmers owning chenas do the same. As explained earlier, thehigher percentage of mixed cropping among chena farmers is due to traditionalpractices.
    • Table 6.23 Cropping pattern in chena – 1984/1985 maha As a pure crop As a nixed crop ASC area % Farmers % Farmers % Farmers % Farmers not Main crops Main crops Other crops having highland cultivating cultivating cultivating Bibila 60 3.3 96.7 Maize, me, manioc - Maize finger millet Moneragala 48 29.2 Maize, chilli, 83.3 - Maize, Cowpea, green gram, cowpea, vegetables finger millet groundnut manioc Buttala 50 36.0 Maize, green gram, 56.0 Maize, green 80.0 Groundnut cowpea, chilli gram, cowpea Badalkumbara 68 17.6 91.2 Maize, - Maize Cowpea, paddy, chilli finger millet Siyambalanduwa 32 6.2 100.0 Maize, Cowpea, chilli, - Paddy, cowpea finger millet manioc Wellawaya 14 14.2 85.7 Chilli - Maize Maize, groundnut green gram Kotagama 26 84.6 30.8 Maize, me Green gram - Maize finger millet, Dis. Ave. 45.57 24.16 - 80.54 1.34
    • 40 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationTable 6.26 Permanent crops available in highland % Farmers Average no of ASC area Crop reporting trees per holding. Bibila Orange 96 20.4 Lime 96 18.7 Jak 68 5.0 Mango 20 4.4 Drumstick 10 1.6 Coconut 66 8.7 Banana 52 9.8 Moneragala Coconut 90 46.6 Jak 72 11.1 Banana 58 202.4 Lime 48 151.0 Arecanut 8 88.5 Mango 28 5.2 Sugar-cane 14 1.5 (ha) Buttala Banana 62 276.1 Coconut 64 23.8 Mango 28 6.8 Lime 38 156.1 Jak 48 6.7 Sugar-cane 8 0.1 (ha) Drumstick 18 21.9 Badalkumbura Coconut 76 32.0 Banana 42 60.0 Sugar-cane 36 0.5 (ha) Lime 34 86.0 Jak 26 8.9 Mango 24 3.9 Orange 18 10.9 Coco 6 175.0 Coffee 4 0.2 (ha) Cadju nut 2 10.0 Arecanut 2 50.0 Siyambalanduwa Coco 98 29.7 Lime 80 48.5 Banana 96 134.2 Manioc 86 626.7 Sugar-cane 54 1.0 (ha) Mango 94 5.5 Jak 94 8.3 Orange 26 9.2 Wellawaya Banana 46 115.7 Murunga 24 19.2 Lime 16 5.5 Tamarind 10 3.2 Orange 8 4.7 Kotagama Coconut 90 37.4 Lime 44 59.8 Banana 56 43.0 Coffee 14 164.3 Jak 38 9.1 Pepper 4 45.0 Dist. Ave 44
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 41Table 6.27 Permanent crops available in chena % Farmers Average no. ASC area Crop reporting of trees per holding Bibila - 16.6 333.3 Moneragala - - - Buttala Banana - - Cadju nut 5.5 30.0 Badalkumbura Banana 2.9 1200.0 Coco 2.9 500.0 Siyambalanduwa - 23.0 200.0 Wellawaya - - - Kotagama Lime - - Coconut 30.7 32.5 Pineapple 7.6 100.0 Banana 15.3 35.0Table 6.28 Nature of maize crop stand - highland. Unit: % farmers reporting 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area As pure As mixed As pure As mixed crop crop crop crop Bibila 25.0 75.0 19.0 80.9 Moneragala 21.2 78.8 25.0 75.0 Buttala 25.7 74.3 28.6 71.4 Badalkumbura 36.8 63.1 28.6 71.4 Siyambalanduwa 16.2 83.8 16.2 83.8 Wellawaya 2.3 97.7 - 100.0 Kotagama 78.9 21.0 63.0 37.0 Dist. Ave 28.8 71.2 23.7 76.3Table 6.29 Nature of maize crop stand – chena Unit: % farmers reporting 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area As pure As mixed As pure As mixed crop crop crop crop Bibila 3.3 96.7 10.0 90.0 Moneragala 9.1 90.9 15.8 84.2 Buttala 33.3 66.7 33.3 66.7 Badalkumbura 8.8 91.2 9.7 90.3 Siyambalanduwa - 100.0 - 100.0 Wellawaya 14.3 85.7 14.3 85.7 Kotagama 84.6 15.4 90.0 10.0 Dist. Ave 17.1 82.9 19.1 80.9 Kotagama and Siyambalanduwa areas are the two extremes: in the Kotagamaarea, most farmers cultivate maize as a pure stand both in highlands and chenas; in theSiyambalanduwa area almost all farmers cultivate maize as a mixed crop. These data indicate that the situation in the 1984/1985 maha season was the sameas the situation that existed in the 1983/1984 maha season, suggesting that over thisperiod the nature of cultivation has remained static.
    • 42 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationAverage area Table 6.30 compares the average area of maize cultivated in highlands under thetwo methods of cultivation for the 1984/1985 and 1983/1984 maha seasons. The average extent of maize grown as a pure stand in highlands in the 1984/1985maha season was 0.42 ha, as it was in 1983/1984. Siyambalanduwa ASC area had thejgreatest average area of maize (0.81 ha) both in pure stands as well as mixed stands.The average area of maize in Kotagama and Badalkumbura ASC areas were 0.23 and0.26 ha respectively. The average area of maize cultivated in the highlands as a mixed crop is alsosimilar to that -of pure stands. Further, the figures for the 1983/1984 and 1984/1985maha seasons were the same. Thus it can be concluded that the overall extent of maizeper farm in Moneragala district is 0.4 ha.Table 6.30 Average extent of maize cultivation -. highland. Unit: hecatres 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area Pure crop Mixed crop Pure crop Mixed crop Bibila 0.42 0.41 0.45 0.56 Moneragala 0.30 0.46 0.43 0.43 Buttala 0.59 0.48 0.51 0.51 Badalkumbura 0.26 0.26 0.50 0.25 Siyambalanduwa 0.81 0.80 0.57 9.84 Wellawaya 0.20 0.57 - 0.55 Kotagama 0.23 0.25 0.19 0.24 Dist. Ave 0.42 0.43 0.43 0.45 Maize areas in chena are larger than in highlands (Table 6.31). Overall the extentof a maize crop in chena is around 0.6-0.7 ha. As in the highlands, there is nodifference in the extent of maize in the 1984/1985 and 1983/1984 maha seasons. Alsothese figures are the same regardless of whether the crop is cultivated as a pure standor as a mixed-crop stand. However, data for individual ASC areas show that inMoneragala and Buttala the pure stands in chena are much larger than mixed stands.As highlighted earlier, almost all the chenas in Siyambalanduwa are cultivated tomixed-crop stands.Table 6.31 Average extent of maize cultivation - chena. Unit: hecatres 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area Pure crop Mixed crop Pure crop Mixed crop Bibila 0.40 0.62 1.01 0.60 Moneragala 2.23 0.75 1.69 0.72 Buttala 1.08 0.71 0.61 1.48 Badalkumbura 0.20 0.47 0.34 0.46 Siyambalanduwa - 1.02 - 1.64 Wellawaya 0.81 0.67 0.81 0.61 Kotagama 0.28 0.51 0.25 0.20 Dist. Ave 0.66 0.67 0.63 0.74
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 43Varieties of maize Varieties of maize used by farmers in Moneragala district were classified into threecategories for analysis: 1. improved: originating from the Department of Agriculture, 2. local: traditional varieties, 3. unknown: farmers do not know the name; presumably mixed types. In highlands during the 1984/1985 maha season, 25% of the farmers cultivatedimproved varieties, compared with only 14% in the previous season. Most of the ASCareas show significant changes in the number of farmers shifting to improved varieties.This shift has mainly resulted from reduction in the cultivation of local varieties.Nearly one-third of the farmers cultivate some varieties that are not local, but the typeis unknown to them. There was no shift in the use of these varieties over the twoseasons observed (Table 6.32). Table 6.32 Variety of maize cultivated - highland. Unit: % farms under the variety 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area Improved Local Unknown Improved Local Unknown Bibila 29.17 37.5 33.3 19.05 47.6 33.3 Moneragala 21.2 51.5 27.3 14.2 53.6 32.1 Buttala 5.7 20.0 74.3 7.1 46.4 46.5 Badalkumbura 31.5 39.8 31.6 6.2 75.0 18.7 Siyambalanduwa 19.3 100.0 - 10.8 89.1 - Wellawaya 2.3 32.6 65.1 2.6 33.3 641 Kotagama 68.4 23.7 7.9 40.7 55.5 37 Dist. Ave 25.4 43.6 31.9 14.4 51.5 341 Table 6.33 shows similar data for varieties of maize cultivated in chenas. There isno significant difference in the use of local and unidentified varieties between chenaand highland. There is a shift towards cultivation of improved varieties in chenas, butthe shift is reducing the area under both the local and unknown varieties. However, incertain ASC areas, no farmers in the sample reported cultivating improved varieties inchenas. In these ASC areas, a majority of the farmers cultivated the unknown varieties.In the Kotagama ASC area, a majority of farmers used improved varieties both inhighlands and chena. Table 6.33 Variety of maize cultivated - chena. Unit: % farms under the variety 1984/1985 Maha 1983/1984 Maha ASC area Improved Local Unknown Improved Local Unknown Bibila 43.3 26.7 30.0 43.3 33.3 23.3 Moneragala 9.0 54.5 36.4 - 693.2 36.8 Buttala - 16.7 83.3 - 16.7 83.3 Badalkumbura 23.5 76.5 - 16.1 74.2 9.7 Siyambalanduwa 6.2 93.8 - 6.2 93.8 - Wellawaya - 28.6 71.4 - 28.6 71.4 Kotagama 61.3 38.5 - 50.0 50.0 - Dist. Ave 22.9 50.7 26.4 18.4 53.4 28.2
    • 44 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationMethod of planting Maize is planted in rows or randomly. In highlands, half the farmers plant maizein rows, and in Buttala, Wellawaya and Kotagama ASC areas, 70-100% of farmerscultivate maize in rows (Table 6.34). However, in chenas, the predominant method ofcultivation is random planting.Table 6.34 Method of planting maize. Unit: %farmers Highland Chena ASC area Row Random Row Random planting planting planting planting Bibila - 100.0 - 100.0 Moneragala 12.1 87.9 4.5 95.5 Buttala 91.4 8.6 77.8 22.2 Badalkumbura 26.3 73.7 5.2 84.8 Siyambalanduwa 27.0 73.0 6.3 93.7 Wellawaya 100.0 - 100.0 - Kotagama 73.7 26.3 61.5 38.5 Dist. Ave 53.28 46.72 25.89 74.10Source of seed, seed rate and seeding Seventy percent of the farmers surveyed use their own seed (Table 6.35). In theASC areas of Buttala, Siyambalanduwa and Wellawaya, over 80% use their own seed. Nearly 25% of farmers have to replant maize. This is the normal practice, as shownin Table 6.36. In both the 1984/1985 and 1983/1984 maha seasons, about 25% offarmers replanted maize. Farmers gave several reasons for this practice: 1. rotting of seed with rains, 2. drying of seed due to insufficient rain, and 3. seed destroyed by wild animals such as boar, rabbits and lizards. The seeding rate used is not consistent among different ASC areas or betweenhighlands and chenas. This is due to many variations in planting methods with respectto space and stand. On the average, between 10 and 12 kg of seed is used to plant oneha of maize (Table 6.37).Table 6.35 Source of seed - 1984/1985 maha season. Unit: % farmersASC area Own seed Dept. seed Form other framersBibila 46 34 20Moneragala 76 14 10Buttala 82 10 8Badalkumbura 74 22 4Siyambalanduwa 98 2 -Wellawaya 84 10 6Kotagama 32 50 18Dist .Ave 70.3 20.3 9.4
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 45Table 6.36 Number of seedings % Farmers reporting % Farmers reporting one more then one ASC area 1984/1985 1983/1984 1984/1985 1983/1984 Maha Maha Maha Maha Bibila 88 94 12 6 Moneragala 76 70 24 30 Buttala 50 56 50 44 Badalkumbura 98 90 2 10 Siyambalanduwa 76 84 24 16 Wellawaya 96 78 4 22 Kotagama 50 42 50 58 Dist. Ave 76.3 73.4 23.7 26.6Table 6.37 Seed rate of maize Seed rate Seed rate ASC area in highland in chena Bibila 12.2 13.4 Moneragala 7.9 11.6 Buttala 14.0 12.8 Badalkumbura 12.2 8.54 Siyambalanduwa 9.76 9.76 Wellawaya - 9.15 Kotagama 18.3 16.5 Dist .Ave 10.62 11.68Cultivation practicesFertilizer application Application of fertilizer is very rare in maize cultivation (Table 6.38). Except inKotagama ASC area, where 48% of farmers have applied fertilizer, very few farmers(28%) have applied fertilizer. The amounts applied are negligible. In chena, also, application of fertilizer is not common, except in Kotagama.Table 6.38 Application of fertilizer. In highland In chena ASC area % Farmers Ave. % Farmers Ave. applaying amount applaying amount fertilizer (kg/ha) fertilizer (kg/ha) Bibila 8 4.6 - - Moneragala 2 10.3 - - Buttala 4 9.0 5.6 4.0 Badalkumbura 2 - 6.1 5.5 Siyambalanduwa - - - - Wellawaya 2 40.5 - - Kotagama 48 38.2 46.2 36.1
    • 46 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationWeed control Weed control is practised by all farmers. In highlands, 84% of farmers weed theirmaize lands once, and the rest weed twice (Table 6.39). The pattern of weeding inchena is similar to that in the highlands (Table 6.40).Pest and disease control No farmer surveyed has controlled pests and disease.Table 6.39 Weed control in highland. Unit: % farmers % farmers % farmers % farmers weeds ASC area undertaking weeds controlled controlled once weed control twice Bibila 100.0 100.0 - Moneragala 100.0 96.6 21.2 Buttala 100.0 48.6 51.4 Badalkumbura 100.0 89.5 10.5 Siyambalanduwa 83.8 83.8 - Wellawaya 100.0 76.7 23.2 Kotagama 100.0 100.0 - Dist .Ave 97.38 83.84 16.16Table 6.40 Weed control in chena . Unit: % farmers % Farmers ASC area % Farmers once % Farmers twice any weeding Bibila 100 100.0 - Moneragala 100 86.4 13.6 Buttala 100 50.0 50.0 Badalkumbura 100 93.9 6.1 Siyambalanduwa 50 43.7 6.3 Wellawaya 100 57.1 42.9 Kotagama 100 100.0 - Dist .Ave 92.8 81.7 18.3Reasons for lack of cultivation practicesVarieties The main reasons given by the farmers for not using the recommended or improvedvarieties of maize are:1. traditional varieties are better in yield and suitability 69.2%),2. using own seed is easier and dependable (30.3%),3. no knowledge of improved varieties (10.6%),4. small area (1.5%),5. other (3.0%).
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 47Fertilizer The main reasons given by farmers for not using fertilizer are:1. lack of money (46.%),2. no need to apply (21.1 %),3. a mixed cultivation (14.6%),4. high cost of fertilizer (8.5%),5. no knowledge (5.7%),6. tradition (3.7%).Pest control In general, there is very little pest and disease damage to maize crops and oftenthe damage does not warrant curative action. Almost all farmers have reported this asthe reason for not controlling pests.Cost of cultivation Cost of cultivation of a hectare of maize is calculated based on the assumptionsgiven below.1. Family and hired labour for all the operations are as reported.2. The amount of watching (which includes the scaring away of birds and monkeys) reported per farm is adequate regardless of farm size. This assumption is based on the reasoning that there is no linear relationship between amount of labour required for watching and land size. The costs involved are mainly the cost of oil for lamps and fire crackers. The amount of watching reported is for both maize and mixed crops in highland or chena farms, and therefore half the reported watching costs are considered to be for maize.3. The application of fertilizer is not included in these calculations of cost because fertilizer is used to a significant extent only in Kotagama ASC area.4. A standard wage rate of Rs 25 and seed cost of Rs 5/kg has been used.5. Imputed cost includes value added to family labour and seed (in all cases own seed is used). The cost of cultivation for highland is given in Table 6.41 and for chena in Table6.42. Cash cost of cultivation is the actual cost incurred by the farmer. Although theimputed full cost of cultivation should take into account the opportunity cost oflabour, it is not proper to consider this cost in this analysis as most of the labourreported doesnot accurately reflect labour needed or used. Labour has no opportunity
    • 48 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivationcost in this subsistence type of farming, it is a tradition for the entire family tocontribute labour to the farm. Hence, the questions of surplus labour and efficiency inlabour output arise. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for the entire family to stay inthe chena during parts of a season, helping to watch for and scare away animals.Under these circumstances, the full components of family labour reported in the tablesshould not be considered the labour requirement for maize production, nor theirimputed cost the cost of cultivation.Table 6.41 Cost of cultivation of maize –bighland.a Unit: Rs/ha Power Input cost Imputed FL for HL for Imputed Cash cost ASC FL for of cultivatio cultivatio cost cost of watching of full area operations watching operations seed (Rs) cultivationn (Rs) (Rs) COC Bibila 97 24 2 89 60 33 172 3257 Moneragala 60 14 13 - 39 30 355 2244 Buttala 101 50 15 - 46 40 415 4236 Badalkumbura 106 41 12 - 60 37 337 4072 Siyambalanduwa 103 28 20 - 41 60 560 3876 Wellawaya n.a n.a n.a - n.a n.a - - Kotagama 129 30 - 77 12 912 4964FL = Family labour HL = Hired labour COC = Cost of cultivation Imputed COC With Imputed value for FL and seeda Ref. explanatory notes in chapter 6b Cost of seed are different ASC areasc Cost of oil lamps and firecrackersTable 6.42 Cost of cultivation of maize –chenar Unit: Rs/ha Power Input cost Imputed FL for HL for Imputed Cash cost ASC FL for of cultivatio cultivatio cost cost of watching of full area operations watching operations seed (Rs) cultivationn (Rs) (Rs) COC Bibila 121 37 - 72 75 54 126 4151 Moneragala 85 22 4 - 338 43 143 2856 Buttala 94 24 15 - 39 35 410 3399 Badalkumbura 65 54 15 - 45 85 460 3480 Siyambalanduwa 66 31 15 - 38 72 447 2910 Wellawaya 51 57 8 - 32 109 309 3041 Kotagama 129 25 21 - 61 9 534 4445FL = Family labour HL = Hired labour COC = Cost of cultivation Imputed COC With Imputed value for FL and seeda Ref. explanatory notes in chapter 6b Cost of seed are different ASC areasc Cost of oil lamps and firecrackers The cash cost of cultivating a hectare of maize in highlands varies from Rs 172 inBibila to Rs 912 in Kotagama. The actual cost in Kotagama is higher than the figuregiven above, when the cost of fertilizer (applied by a majority of farmers only inKotagama), which is about Rs 700/ha, is also considered. However, the situation inKotagama ASC area is an exception. In general it can be considered that cash costvaries between Rs 172 and Rs 560 with a weighted average of Rs 411/ha.
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 49 If an imputed cost is added for family labour and seed, the full cost of cultivationincreases to Rs 2244 in Moneragala ASC area and to Rs 4964 in Kotagama, with asimple average of Rs 3500 for all the ASC areas other than Kotagama. The cash costof cultivation of one ha of maize in chena varies from Rs 126 in Bibila to Rs 534 inKotagama. The average cash cost is Rs 320. As for highlands, when family labour isimputed using a hired wage rate, the average imputed cost of cultivation in chenasincreases to Rs 3400/ha.Average yield of maize The average yields of maize per ha for the different ASC areas are given in Table6.43. Overall the average yield in highlands is 1160 kg/ha, which is almost the same asthe yield in chena, where the average yield is 1309 kg/ha. For both highlands andchenas the highest yield was recorded in Kotagama ASC area. It should be noted thatin this ASC area many farmers used fertilizer, which is not a common practiceelsewhere. The yield in highlands in Kotagama is two to four times the yield in otherASC area highlands. However, under chena conditions the yield difference is not asdramatic. Table 6.43 Average yield of maize. Unit: kg/ha Ave. yeild in Ave. yeild in ASC area highland chena Bibila 1067 1599 Moneragala 844 1378 Buttala 1782 1532 Badalkumbura 1004 609 Siyambalanduwa 1257 1358 Wellawaya 517 1153 Kotagama 2340 1632 Dist .Ave 1160 1309Crop losses In all ASC areas except Moneragala, more than 50% of the farmers reported croplosses during the 1984/1985 maha season. In Moneragala ASC area, only 30% reportedsuch losses. The main cause of crop loss is damage by wild animals such as boar,monkeys and birds. Almost all farmers report crop damage caused by wild boar. Thesecond most frequently cited cause is bird damage. All farmers in three of the ASC areas report that crop losses are common in everyseason. In three other ASC areas, 60-95% report the same. In Kotagama, only 38% offarmers report that they experience crop losses every year.Returns on maize cultivation The average farm gate price of maize is Rs 3.06/kg, which gives the farmers agross earning of Rs 3550/ha for highlands and Rs 4006/ha for chena (Table 6.44). Theaverage cash cost of maize cultivation is Rs 411 in highlands and Rs 320 in chena. Thenet earnings are therefore several times the cash investment. The net earnings over fullimputed costs are marginal.
    • 50 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize CultivationTable 6.44 Costs and returns in maize cultivation unit: Rs/ha Under highland Under chena Item cultivation cultivation Cash only cost of cultivation 411 320 Cost of cultivation inclusive of imputed costs 3500 3400 Average yield kg/ha (1160) (1309) Average farm-gate price 3.06 3.06 Gross income 3550 4006 Net income over cash costs 3139 3686 Net income over cost inclusive of imputed 50 606 costsMarketing of maizeMarket surplus and home consumption Some maize is consumed by all the farmers. Maize is stored at home in differentways for future consumption and for use as seed in the next season. The mostwidespread method of storing maize is in cob form in a barn or in the smoke of thekitchen fire. In this manner maize can be stored until the next season. A less popularmethod is to store the seeds and cobs in sacks. Thirty-eight percent of the maize produced is consumed at home within a year ofharvest (Table 6.45). The market surplus is 60% of the production. The balance (2%) iskept for seed for the next season.Table 6.45 Home consumption and marketing of maize unit: % of total production ASC area Home consumed Marketed Bibila 41 56 Moneragala 37 60 Buttala 32 66 Badalkumbura 44 50 Siyambalanduwa 35 63 Wellawaya 34 63 Kotagama 51 47 Dist .Ave 38 60Time of marketing All surplus maize is not sold immediately after harvest. This is possible as maizecan be stored more easily than other cereals. As indicated in Table 6.46, 20% of themarketable surplus is sold within two weeks of harvest. Most of the produce is sold inthe last two weeks of the first month after harvest. Only 13% of maize available for saleis sold during or after the third month after harvest. This table shows that this pattern isnot consistent among the ASC areas.Ways of marketing maize Three distinct methods of marketing maize are identified in Table 6.47. Theprevalent method is the transport of maize by the farmers to the traders both inside thevillage and at the bazaar. In certain ASC areas, farmers sell to the co-operatives,
    • Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation 51Paddy Marketing Board and ASC wherever they collect maize. The second method isto sell to the collecting agents who come to the farm. The third method is to take theproduce to the local fair and sell it to collecting agents, who often come from outsidethe area to collect maize and other produce available during the period. A majority of farmers have reported that transport facilities are the mainconstraint they face in the marketing process. They also complain that the prices theyreceive are not adequate. Little bargaining takes place to decide the prices. The tradersdecide the prices in advance depending on the local availability of maize and price formaize in Colombo.Table 6.46 Time of marketing. % Maize sold ASC area in 1 -2 week in 3 - 4 week in 2nd week in 3rd week after after after after harvest harvest harvest harvest Bibila 16 64 20 - Moneragala 6 40 23 31 Buttala 4 39 12 2 Badalkumbura 5 82 12 1 Siyambalanduwa 3 35 42 20 Wellawaya 26 31 28 15 Kotagama 36 32 11 21 Dist. Ave 20 43 24 13Table 6.47 Time of marketing. ASC area Three main methods in order of importance Bibila 1. Farmers take their produce to traders. 2. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm 3. Sell at the local fair to collectors Moneragala 1. farmers take their produce to traders 2. Sell to the co-operative Buttala 1. Farmers take their produce to traders. 2. Sell to the co-operative and Paddy Marketing Board. 3. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm. Badalkumbura 1. Sell at the local fair to collectors. 2. Sell to Agricultural Service Centre. 3. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm. Siyambalanduwa 1. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm. 2. Farmers take their produce to traders. Wellawaya 1. Farmers take their produce to traders. 2. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm. Kotagama 1. Sell at the local fair to collectors. 2. Sell to collecting agents coming to farm.
    • 52 Results of the Socio-Economic Survey of Maize Cultivation Four or five traders were interviewed from each ASC area to obtain an overallview of the marketing of maize in the district. The observations based on theseinterviews are summarized below.1. There are no traders who specialize in buying and selling only maize, for the obvious reason that it is available only in one season each year. All traders in maize are involved in general trade but at different levels of operation. Maize is an important commodity throughout the year for only a few centrally operating traders. For some traders it is important only during the harvesting period, and for most, maize is just one of the many agricultural commodities collected and resold.2. Traders operating at a higher turnover level employ small traders inside the village to collect maize from farmers. Farmers carry maize to these collecting points and sell it for cash. The main traders collect the produce from the sub-traders. In this situation the main trader fixes his price with the sub-trader and advises him to purchase at a price 25 cents/kg less than the fixed price.3. In almost all instances, maize is purchased in seed form rather than in cobs. The seed is then sold to collectors coming from Colombo, who work for other traders in Colombo or for the Oils and Fats Corporation which manufactures livestock feeds. Most traders store maize in sacks for a period of one to three months. There are some traders who store maize for six to ten months.Agricultural extension for maize The spread of agricultural extension services among farmers is indicated in Table6.48. On the average, 46% of farmers do not receive any extension service. Extensionservice in maize cultivation is received by only 36% of farmers. In some ASC areas, asfew as 6% of farmers receive this service. A majority of farmers in only two ASC areasreport receiving extension service on maize.Table 6.48 Effect of extension service. Unit: % farmers reporting Receive extension Receive extension Do not Receive any ASC area on maize on other corps maize service Bibila 90 82 10 Moneragala 28 70 30 Buttala 36 62 38 Badalkumbura 32 50 50 Siyambalanduwa 6 4 94 Wellawaya 8 8 92 Kotagama 72 72 28 Dist .Ave 36 46 46
    • 7Statistical Analysis of Variables AffectingMaize Production Regression analysis is frequently used to fit production functions that reflectvariation in output to variations in selected independent variables. This is a usefultechnique in identifying, as well as studying in quantitative terms, the influence of theexplanatory variables on the output.Average production function for maize The dependent variable, Y, representing output measured in metric tons per farm,was regressed against a set of independent variables. Production functions were fittedfor a sample of 56 farmers cultivating maize as a monocrop in highlands inMoneragala district. Explanatory variables selected for the analysis included thefollowing:1. Ex = extent planted to maize, in hectares,2. Lb = labour for weeding and earthing up, in man-days,3. Ft = cost of fertilizer, in rupees per farm,4. Ls = extent of output damaged by animals, as a percentage of the total output,5. D1 = a dummy variable to represent whether the farmer used an improved variety. If he has used an improved variety, D, = 1. If he has not, D1 = 0;6. D2 = a dummy variable to represent whether the farmer adopted row planting or random planting. Transcendental and Cobb-Douglas production functions were considered forfitting the average production function. The transcendental production function has theadvantage of being able to represent all three stages of production, while the Cobb-Douglas function is able to represent only the second stage, in which a firm enjoyspositive but diminishing marginal returns, assuming perfect competition. The Cobb-Douglas function represents the rational behaviour of farm producers and it is widelyused in empirical agricultural production function analysis. The transcendental functionwas selected for this study since it represents all three stages of production. In fitting the transcendental function, some variables were found to beinsignificant:1. dummy variables for row or random planting were insignificant,2. all the coefficients of the squared terms (CS) were found to be insignificant, 53
    • 54 Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production3. coefficients of variables for labour, fertilizer cost and percentage output damaged (bs) were found to be insignificant on the exponent, whereas these variables had significant coefficients (as) in multiplicative form,4. the variable for land was significant only on the exponent and not in the multiplicative form. The production function was fitted after dropping insignificant terms. Theestimated "average" production function is given below in logarithmic form. In Y= - 1.99* + 0.108* InFt - 0.062** InLs+ 2.441*Lb (0.124) (0.019) (0.028) (0.229) +0.393*Dl (0.124) * Significant 1 % level ** Significant 5% level R = 0.74 (Standard errors are given within parentheses.) All the variables in the equation had the expected signs, and the magnitudes of thecoefficients were within reasonable ranges. The significance of land only on theexponent indicates that within the range of these observations, marginal product foradditional units of land is increasing. The average extent of land planted to maize in thestudy area ranged from 0.10 to 1.62 ha. Land was found to be the most importantconstraint farmers have faced in expanding maize cultivation. This result does notmean that the marginal product of land is ever increasing, but rather that, due to thelimited extent of land, farmers were unable to move on to the second stage of theproduction function. In relation to land input, use of fertilizer and improved maizevarieties such as Thai Composite and Badhra was found to contribute positively tofarm output. Crop damage by animals, mainly wild boar, was another problemexperienced by farmers. The coefficient of the variable representing this damage wasfound to be negative and significant, as was expected.Technical efficiency in maize cultivation Given the technology in an area, a wide range of physical performances in maizeproduction can be expected. There may be farmers who exploit the availabletechnology to the maximum level feasible in a particular environment, and thus obtainthe maximum production. These farmers can be said to employ the best-practicetechnology. The term "best-practice technology" was first used by Salter (1960).Performance of farmers in employing a given technology under a given set ofconditions varies owing to the slow adjustment process that accompanies technicalchange. In small-scale agriculture such variation may be due to the institutional andsocio-economic constraints on achieving high levels of production. Best-practice technology applies not only to the peer group of farmers employingit; conceptually it holds for all the farmers in the domain. Best-practice productionlevels potentially can be obtained by other farmers if they employ the best-practice
    • Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production 55technology. Therefore, the best-practice or the frontier technology can be considered asthe observed standard with which performance of individual farms can be compared. The best-practice production function was estimated using a corrected ordinaryleast squares method of estimating the frontier production function. The actual yieldsobtained by farmers were checked against the best yield obtained from the frontier.This gave a value for technical efficiency for each farmer. Mean technical efficiency for the sample was found to be 52%, which indicates thatthe total maize output can be almost doubled if farmers can be encouraged to use thebest-practice technology by the removal of socio-economic constraints that preventthem from doing so. A frequency distribution of farm-specific technical efficiencymeasures seems to follow a normal distribution. Nearly 25% of farmers sampled werefound to be in the technical efficiency range of 0.51-0.60 and about 58% were within the0.41-0.70 range.Socio-economic factors explaining variations in technical efficiency A linear regression model was employed to estimate the relationship that existsbetween farm-specific technical efficiency values and some selected socio-economicvariables.The following variables were used in the analysis:TEi = measured technical efficiency of farm I,X1 = number of years of formal education,X2 = total extent of chena operated,X3 = total income from paddy in maha season 1984/1985,D = dummy variable to represent wether the farmer received extension support (D = 1) or not (D = 0)Ei = random eror term with classical properties Except for the variable income from paddy, all variables were found to besignificant. Exposure to agricultural extension on maize cultivation and number ofyears of formal education were found to contribute positively to technical efficiency.Amount of land operated in chena was also found to be significant and positivelyrelated to technical efficiency. Maize was the main crop cultivated in chena in the mahaseason 1984/1985. Maize is planted in chena and in highland more or less at the sametime. Therefore a farmer having a larger extent of chena can be expected to be morespecialized in maize production than a farmer who has a smaller extent of chena. As aresult farmers with larger areas of chena may possess skills and knowledge that lead toa higher level of technical efficiency on highlands as well.Correlation among variables To illustrate the behaviour of certain key pairs of variables, an analysis of thecorrelation between them is presented in the following sections. Three key variableshave been considered as the independent variables and are correlated with otherrelevant dependent variables. These three variables are family size, farm size andlabour.
    • 56 Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize ProductionFamily size and land availability Family size is divided into three categories: small, medium and large (this is anarbitrary division depending on data values). The average family size in the smallgroup is 2.0 (n = 58), medium group, 5.6 (n = 231) and large group 8.9 (n = 61). Table 7.1 presents the relationship of family size to availability of land. Morefarmers with small families have chena only, while more farmers with medium andlarge families have highland only. However there is no difference with respect to thepercentage of farmers having both highland and chena. Approximately 40% of farmersin any family-size category own both highland and chena.Table 7.1 Family size and land availability % Farmers Family Size Total With highland With chena With both only only highland and chena Small - ave. 2.0 48.3 12.1 39.6 100 (n = 58) Medium - ave. 5.6 60.2 2.2 37.6 100 (n = 231) Large - ave. 8.9 55.7 1.6 42.7 100 ( = 61)Family size and land area The average extent of highland, chena and upland (both highland and chena) perfamily with respect to family size categories is given in Table 7.2. In each family-sizecategory, families having both highland and chena have larger average area of landthan do families having either highland only or chena only. Farmers having chena onlyhave the lowest average area of land. In each land category medium families have the lowest average area of land,followed by small families. This relationship is evident with respect to both globalaverages of area as well as reporting averages. However the differences between landarea in each category of land are insignificant.Table 7.2 Family size and land area. Unit: hectares Ave. highland Ave. chena Ave. upland Family size area area area Small - ave. 2.0 1.25 0.51 1.76 (n =58) (1.39) (1.0) (1.76) Medium - ave. 5.6 1.15 0.30 1.44 (n =231) (1.17) (0.74) (1.44) Large - ave. 8.9 1.42 0.50 1.89 (n =61) (1.45) (1.1) (1.89)Note: Average are global for the group. Reporting averages are given in parentheses.
    • Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production 57Family size and area of maize cultivated Farmers do not cultivate the full extent of highland or chena available in maize.The area under maize was matched with family size to determine the relationshipbetween these variables. Table 7.3 presents the relevant data. Large families havingchena only or having both highlands and chena cultivate larger area of maize than domedium and small families. This difference is not prominent among farmers havinghighland only.Table 73 Family size and area of maize cultivated. Unit: hectares Family size Ave. maizze Ave. maizze Ave. total extant in extant in maize extant highland chena Small - ave. 2.0 0.43 0.61 0.54 (n = 58) Medium - ave. 5.6 0.51 0.60 0.56 (n = 231) Large - ave. 8.9 0.46 0.97 0.73 (n = 61)Family size and maize stand in highland The relationship between family size and maize stand is indicated in Table 7.4.Approximately 45% of farmers in each category of family size cultivate maize in amixed stand.Table 7.4 Family size and maize stand in highland. Family size % Farmes cultivating As pure As mixed maize in highland stand stand Small - ave. 2.0 58.6 13.8 44.8 (n = 58) Medium - ave. 5.6 62.8 17.3 45.5 (n = 231) Large - ave. 8.9 73.8 26.2 47.6 (n = 61)Family size and marketable surplus Marketable surplus of maize, as well as the relationship between family size andability to have a surplus for marketing, is analysed in Table 7.5. Regardless of familysize, 74-80% of farmers market their produce. Large families have a greater surplus thando medium and small families. Large families cultivate larger areas of maize.Farm size and other variables In the following sections farm size is correlated with other relevant variables.Farm size has been considered in the following forms: 1. lowland area,
    • 58 Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production 2. highland cultivated in maize, 3. chena cultivated in maize, and 4. total area cultivated in maizeTable 7.5 Family size and marketable surplus Family size % Farmes reporting Ave. amt. sold (kg) sales (rep. ave) Small - ave. 2.0 75.8 556 (n = 58) Medium - ave. 5.6 80.0 456 (n = 231) Large - ave. 8.9 73.7 775 (n = 61)Lowland area and extent of maize The correlation between the extent of lowland and the extent cultivated in maize(total in both highland and chena) is shown in Table 7.6. There is a positive correlationbetween the extent of lowland and the extent of maize, (possibly indicating that theadditional income from paddy could sustain a larger area of maize). However, farmerswith no lowland also have fairly large areas under maize.Table 7.6 Lowland extent and total extent of maize cultivated. Unit : hectares Lowland extent Ave. extent cultived in maize (highland + chena) No lowland 0.66 (n = 76) Small - ave. 0.20 0.48 (n = 103) Medium - ave. 0.45 0.57 (n = 122) Large - ave. 1.18 0.70 (n = 491)Highland maize extent and productivity The correlation between the extent of highland cultivated in maize and theproductivity of maize in highland is shown in Table 7.7. Small areas of maize show agreater efficiency in productivity, which decreases and becomes constant as the areaincreases.Chena maize extent and productivity The relationship between chena maize extent and productivity is opposite to therelationship observed for highland maize extent, (Table 7.8). The efficiency of chenamaize increases as maize extent increases and becomes constant at medium and largelevels.
    • Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production 59 Table 7.7 Highland maize extent and maize productivity. Highland maize extant (ha) Average maize productivity (kg/ha) Small - ave. 0.191 1768.8 (n = 78) Medium - ave. 0.455 1069.2 (n = 96) Small - ave. 0.191 1049.9 (n = 55) Table 7.8 Chena maize extent and maize productivity Chena maize extant (ha) Average maize productivity (kg/ha) Small - ave. 0.193 1305.8 (n = 22) Medium - ave. 0.447 1674.7 (n = 63) Small - ave. 1.113 1640.7 (n = 54)Total maize extent and maize stand in highland The relationship between total maize extent and the maize stand in highland isindicated in Table 7.9. Of the three categories of maize cultivation (small, medium andlarge), more farmers with large areas of maize cultivate in highland, followed by thosehaving small areas of maize. Overall, 45-52% of farmers cultivate maize as a mixed crop regardless of the totalmaize extent cultivated.Table 7.9 Total maize extent and maize stand in highland. Total maize extant % Farmers cultivating As pure stand As mixed stand (highland + chena) maize in highland Small - ave. 0.31 ha 68.4 22.3 46.1 (n = 206) Medium - ave. 0.74 ha 56.7 12.3 44.4 (n = 97) Small - ave. 1.45 70.1 18.0 52.1 (n = 47)Total maize area and marketable surplus There is a positive relationship between the total maize extent and percentage offarmers reporting sales and the amount of maize sold (Table 7.10). In farms with largeareas of maize, 95% of the farmers sell their produce. In small farms, only 68% sell theproduce. The average amount of maize sold also varies in relation to the maize extent.small farms sell, on the average, 284 kgs while large farms sell an average of 1346 kg.
    • 60 Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production Table 7.10 Total maize area and marketable surplus. Total maize extant % Farmers suporting Ave. amt. sold (kg) (highland + chena) sales (rep. ave) Small - ave. 0.0.31 ha 68.4 284.3 (n = 206) Medium - ave. 0.74 ha 90.7 490.5 (n = 97) Small - ave. 1.45 ha 95.7 1346.3 (n = 47)Total maize area and farm gate price Farm gate price is independent of the total maize extent (Table 7.11). Regardlessof the extent of maize under cultivation, the average price is about Rs 3/kg. Table 7.11 Total maize area and farm gate price. Total maize extant (highland Ave. farm gate price + chena) (Rs/kg) Small - ave. 0.0.31 ha 3.08 (n = 206) Medium - ave. 0.74 ha 3.09 (n = 97) Small - ave. 1.45 ha 2.99 (n = 47)Labour use and productivity in highland In highland, an increase in labour use results in a decline in maize productivityWhen labour use increases twofold, productivity decreases slightly, but when labouruse increases threefold, the productivity decreases by half (Table 7.12). Table 7.12 Labour use and maize productivity - highland Total labour Average maize productivity use per ha (kg/ha) Few - ave. 48.46 man - days 1462.8 (n = 74) Moderate - ave. 97.9 man - days 1305.7 (n = 101) More - ave. 158.1 man - days 764.9 (n = 54)Labour use and productivity in chena The relationship between labour use and productivity in chena conditions is not asconsistant as it is in highland. As labour use increases from few labour units tomoderate, productivity increases, but then decreases with further intensification oflabour use (Table 7.13).
    • Statistical Analysis of Variable Affecting Maize Production 61 Table 7.13 Labour use and maize productivity -chena. Total labour Average maize productivity use per ha (kg/ha) Few - ave. 60.6 man - days 1679.3 (n = 16) Moderate - ave. 103.6 man - days 1824.1 (n = 49) More - ave. 159.5 man - days 1427.6 (n = 74)
    • 8Constraints on Maize ProductionAvailable technology Maize production in Sri Lanka is still below the national requirement and maize iscultivated at subsistance levels with few or no inputs. It is cultivated in highlands underthe slash-and-burn system of land preparation called chena and in nearby permanenthighlands with almost the same primitive cultivation practices used in chena. However,technology has been developed and is available to the farmers to cultivate maize in amore scientific manner in order to obtain higher productivity and production. The development of new technology for maize cultivation commenced more thanthree decades ago in the 1950s in one agricultural research station in Sri Lanka, andlater was entrusted to seven agricultural research stations with the regionalization ofagricultural research. One of the main aims of the maize research programme was todevelop a variety that would give high yields, mature in 3 to 3/i months, and havetolerance to drought and diseases. A variety of maize that fulfilled most of theserequirements was developed from Thai Composite in 1974 and released in 1977 underthe name Bhadra 1. This variety gave 23% higher yield over the varieties selected inthe early 1960s. Bhadra 1 was introduced to farmers as an improved variety for masscultivation. Subsequently, better varieties have been selected and are in the final stagesof evaluation. Fertilizer trials were conducted to obtain the optimum yield from Bhadra 1. Afterseveral fertilizer experiments, optimum levels of N, P and K were determined, as wellas split levels of application, and this information was passed to the farmers as arecommendation. Recommendations are also available on optimum plant density,which depends on the level of fertilizer farmers intend to apply. Different methods of weed control under chena and highland farming conditionshave been evaluated. Weeding at land preparation time, weeding with intercultivationand weeding with herbicides have been evaluated and the results are available tofarmers as improved technologies. Research on breeding for better varieties and on agronomy is continuing.Constraints In spite of the available technology, farmers in Moneragala district face manyconstraints that hinder expansion of land under maize cultivation as well asproductivity. While some constraints affect either extent or productivity, others affectboth. All the constraints can be grouped under two main categories: non-economicconstraints; and economic constraints.Non-economic constraints Most of the constraints can be discussed under this category. They are those thataffect maize production without having a direct bearing on its costs and returns. 63
    • 64 Constraints on Maize Production In the dry zone of Sri Lanka, cultivation of chena is an ancient system. There hasbeen a large amount of development in the agricultural sector in the form of high-technology commercial farming, especially for the cultivation of paddy and highlandcrops such as potato, chilli and onions. However, the chenas of today are cultivated inmuch the same way as chenas were in the past. Chenas are not owned, but areencroached land; therefore the incentive is not permanent development, but rather toobtain produce with the least cost. Lowland provides many farmers with rice, and mostfarmers concentrate on paddy cultivation and give low priority to chena cultivation.Chenas are cultivated under high risk of uncertainty of rain and certainty of damagefrom wild animals. Under such conditions, farmers do not invest in high technology. Cultivation of maize and chena agriculture were synonymous as maize was oneof the primary crops under this system of agriculture. Just as the chena system remainsunchanged the method of cultivation of maize, its primary crop, also remainsunchanged. The chena system of maize cultivation will be modified or eliminated only whenmaize becomes important as a cash crop. Chilli, green gram, cowpea and vegetablessuch as beans, and eggplant, once cultivated as traditional chena crops, are nowcultivated in both chenas and highlands as commercial crops. Other crops such asmaize, finger millet, other small millets, sorghum and some melons have not becomecash crops and are still cultivated as subsistance crops in chenas.Shortage of land Farmers own or lease highland that is cultivated in many crops, both seasonal andperennial. Any increase in extent of maize cultivation will reduce the extent of othercrops. This balance is governed by the relative net returns of these crops or byphysically increasing the area of chenas. By law new lands cannot be cleared for chena.Also, most of the land suitable for chena has already been cleared and cultivated. Thusthere is a shortage of land on which to increase the extent under maize cultivation.Shortage of labour Farmers allocate resources relative to the potential income from differententerprises. In the case of maize cultivation, since its net income is marginal (inclusiveof the cost of labour), farmers use mostly family labour for all the operations. If theextent of land under maize is increased, farmers have to hire labour (under rainfedconditions all lands have to be prepared and cultivated at the same time) and this theycan do only if they get a higher turnover from maize cultivation. Given the currentcosts and returns, farmers are reluctant to employ hired labour for maize cultivation.Crop loss Crop loss is inevitable in the present system of maize cultivation: A majority offarmers experience crop loss every year. The main causes of crop loss are wild animalsand birds. If crop loss is to be reduced to increase the productivity and total production ofmaize, farmers must take action against the causes of the loss. This means employment
    • Constraints on Maize Production 65of more labour and increases in costs. Unless these greater costs are recovered throughbetter market prices and net returns, farmers will be reluctant to change the currentsystem.Agricultural extension and other institutional supports Most other non-economic constraints facing farmers of maize are directly orindirectly connected with agricultural extension and other institutional supports.Considering the impact of other non-economic and economic constraints, improvementsin agricultural extension and other institutional supports alone will not solve all theproblems of maize cultivation.Non-availability of good seeds It was shown that on the average nearly 70% of the farmers use their own seed,and in some ASC areas this proportion is over 80%. Use of this seed affectsproductivity. A good extension programme could influence the farmers to use morecertified seed.Cultivation of traditional varieties Only 25% of farmers cultivate improved varieties, while others resort to localvarieties or varieties of unknown origin. When asked why they do not cultivateimproved varieties, about 10% of these farmers said they have no knowledge ofimproved varieties and 30% use their own seed (this could imply that improved seed isnot available to these farmers). Cultivation of varieties of maize other than improved varieties, together withfarmers use of their own seed, could be considered major agronomic constraints onincreasing production of maize.Non-application of fertilizer Except in one location studied, fertilizer is generally not applied. This is anotheragronomic constraint that hinders increase in production.Plant establishment Plant establishment itself is sometimes a constraint on increase in production.Often maize is cultivated as a mixed crop and does not receive the attention it wouldreceive as a monocrop. Nearly 15% of farmers indicated that they do not apply fertilizerto maize, as maize is only one of the crops in a crop mixture.Lack of capital Fertilizer is the main input that requires capital. Nearly half the farmers surveyedindicated lack of cash (including credit facilities) as one of the reasons for notinvesting in fertilizer. Thus, poor purchasing power of farmers is also a constraint onincreasing production.Multiple seedings Nearly 25% of farmers surveyed must replant maize, mainly due to rotting ofseeds in heavy rains, drying of seeds in drought and destruction of seeds by wild animals.
    • 66 Constraints on Maize Production These causes are beyond the control of farmers, but poor quality of seed could also bea cause for replanting. Poor quality may be due to the farmers use of their own seedover a long period of time. Farmers could minimize the number of seeds destroyed by animals by watchingduring the germination period. However, this extra cost would make productionunprofitable given the present net returns.Improvements needed in extension service The need for the agricultural extension service to be more involved in theimprovement of maize cultivation was pointed out in the sections above. Some of the reasons given for non-use of improved varieties, such as "noknowledge of improved varieties", and for non-use of fertilizer, such as "no necessityto apply fertilizer", could be attributed to inadequate extension services.Economic constraints There are three main economic constraints on the improvement of maizeproduction: poor net returns from maize cultivation; alternative opportunities for land;and alternative opportunities for labour.Poor net returns from maize cultivation It was shown earlier that net returns from maize are marginal. If the full cost offamily labour is calculated, the net return from a hectare of maize is only Rs 50 underhighland cultivation and Rs 606 under chena cultivation. If the more accurate cost offamily labour is calculated as 75% of its market value, the net returns are Rs 820 andRs 1375 respectively from a hectare of maize. The net returns to farmers under the present marketing system are not attractiveenough to increase maize production.Alternative opportunities for land The land used for maize cultivation could be used to cultivate other crops, manyof which would give a better income than maize. A comparison of net returns for a fewsuch crops during a single season showed that maize (in its present form of cultivation)has very little advantage over other crops (Table 8.1). Given the current market systemand the crops available to them, farmers are reluctant to invest more in maizecultivation.Table 8.1 Net retnrns of alternate crops. Crop Net returns including 75% of family labour Net returns over cash costs only cost (Rs/ha) (Rs/ha) Maize (highland) 820 3139 (chena) 1375 3686 Cowpea 2163 5297 Green gram 1367 6076 Groundnut 3024 5619 Chilli 4888 9962Note: Data for crops other than maize are for the 1984/1985 maha season for adjoining ditrics
    • Constraints on Maize Production 67Alternative opportunities for labour The extra labour that would be required to expand maize cultivation could bealternatively employed to obtain better remuneration in the cultivation of other cropsas well as in gem-mining. Many farmers are involved in illegal gem-mining in thejungle, which gives a much higher income than the cultivation of maize. Gem-mining islabour intensive, and leaves less labour for cultivation of crops.Constraints - overall effect These constraints are categorized as non-economic and economic constraints forease of description, but all constraints together affect the improvement of maizecultivation. Solving each constraint individually will not lead to the. desired results asall constraints are related. For example, in order to solve the economic constraint of low net returns, seeddistribution, dissemination of information on technology, and market prices must allbe improved. Similarly farmers will not buy fertilizer unless there is a substantial netreturn from the investment. Thus, constraints must be resolved taking intoconsideration all aspects of maize cultivation.
    • 9Policy Recommendations The study highlights constraints that are facing the maize producer in theMoneragala district of Sri Lanka. It can be assumed that these difficulties are faced byproducers of maize in other districts as well. Unless specific policy measures areapplied, an increase in production cannot be anticipated in the near future. The demand for maize as a direct consumer good is both price and incomeinelastic. Consequently, substantial increases in human consumption cannot beexpected. This indicates that future demand will be in the livestock industry. Policydecisions to encourage the use of local maize products instead of imported maizeproducts would encourage producers to increase their production levels. Such a policymust be accompanied by guaranteed prices. Maize cultivation is marginally economic. Consequently, any increase inproduction will be possible only if maize is more profitable than other competitivecrops. In order to increase productivity of maize, better varieties and organized extensionmust be provided to the farmers. Although most of the farmers surveyed are contentwith the traditional varieties, strong extension programmes should be organized toteach the value and importance of improved varieties. There is also a need for better credit and marketing facilities. Most farmerssurveyed do not use fertilizer due to lack of money. Consequently, extension effortwith new varieties will not prove very successful if it is not co-ordinated with the use ofbetter inputs, for which credit is essential. Credit institutions must be encouraged inMoneragala. A major constraint faced by most farmers is the lack of adequate transportfacilities for marketing. Measures must be taken to find alternate uses for maize. Atpresent its use is limited to human consumption in rural areas and to livestock feed.Alternative uses such as flour and oil must be studied and encouraged. 69
    • GlossaryASC Agricultural Service CentreAnicut Raised irrigation water distribution canalsArecanut Betel nutCIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (Mexico)Chena A highland agricultural system using a slash-and-burn method of cultivationCoco CocoaGingelly SesameJak JackfruitKVSS Village-level extension officersKurakkan Finger milletMaha Illuppallama Main agricultural research stationMaha Season of rainfall from November to January, caused by the northeast monsoonManioc CassavaMe Long beansRupee (Rs) Sri Lankan currency Rs 22.00 = US$ 1SSC Senior School CertificationT&V Training and Visit (a system of agricultural extension)Yala Season of rainfall from May to September, caused by the southwest monsoon. 71
    • ReferencesCentral Bank of Sri Lanka. 1985. Annualreport. CIMMYT Review, 1974: 51-52.Handawela, J. 1985. Fertilizer management in upland rainfed maize in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Paper presented at a Workshop on Fertilizer Use in Maize in Sri Lanka, Feb. 22, 1985, at the Agricultural Research Station, Maha Illuppalama, Sri Lanka.Mahaweli Ganga Development Project. Feasibility study. Vol. 2, Agriculture. Segreah, Grenoble, France.Panabokke, C.R. and A. Walgama. 1974. Application of rainfall confidence limits to crop water requirements in dry zone agriculture in Sri Lanka. J. Natn. Sci. Coun. Sri Lanka 2(2): 95-113.Salter, W.E.G. 1960. Productivity and technical change. London: Cambridge University Press.Sithamparanathan, J. 1958. Improvement of highland crops in the Dry Zone, Part I - Cereals and millets, Trop. Agric. CXIV.: 19-28.Sri Lanka. Department of Agriculture. 1985. Cost of cultivation of agricultural crops - maha 1984/1985. Agricultural Economics Study 39.Sri Lanka. Department of Census and Statistics. 1981. Census of population and housing.________. 1982. Census of agriculture. 73