0840 Effectiveness of Farmer-Based Approaches on Production and Marketing of SRI Rice

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Presenter: W.G.Somaratne …

Presenter: W.G.Somaratne

Institution: Oxfam Australia

Subject Country: SriLanka

More in: Technology , Business
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  • 1. Effectiveness of Farmer-Based Approaches on Production and Marketing of SRI Rice W.G.Somaratne Advocacy and Policy Manager Oxfam Australia
  • 2. Effectiveness of Farmer-Based Approaches on Production and Marketing of SRI Rice
    • Introduction - Role of Oxfam-Australia
    • Perceptions of small farmers
    • Effectiveness of farmer-based production of SRI rice
    • Marketing aspects of SRI rice
    • Concluding remarks
  • 3. Introduction
    • For almost 30 years, Oxfam Australia has been working to alleviate poverty among the poorest of the poor (POP) in Sri Lanka through participatory, community-based development approaches.
    • SRI was identified in 2003 as an approach that could:
      • improve food security at the household level;
      • possibly increase income for poor farming families;
      • reduce their dependence on costly farming inputs (seed, fertilizer, agro-chemicals, and) and reduce water use;
      • Promote eco-friendly farming practices (e.g., agrochemical-free, reduced w ater use, etc.) .
  • 4.
    • The eco-friendly productivity improvement programs (i.e., SRI) have experimented with different approaches and strategies among small farmers;
    • The main thrusts of these programmes were:
      • To improve the paddy yield (i.e., land productivity);
      • To reduce unit cost of production
      • To protect paddy farmers from excessive competitiveness; and
      • To assure a fair market price for paddy.
  • 5.
    • OAus’s involvement in the initial years was
      • tentative, small-scale, and mostly experimental;
      • itself assessing the feasibility and possibilities of SRI techniques for very poor, particularly women, farmers.
      • The SRI approach is currently being promoted by OAus through partner organisations among POPs in 6 districts:
        • Anuradhapura,
        • Kegalle,
        • Polonnaruwa,
        • Hambantota,
        • Matara and
        • Ampara
  • 6. Study of SRI Farmer Perceptions
    • Purpose:
      • To learn more about why the uptake of SRI practices has been slow in Sri Lanka, in relation to other countries where it has been introduced.
    • Area Covered:
        • Matara, Kegalle (wet zone)
        • Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ampare (dry zone)
        • Hambantota (arid zone)
    • Sample Size: (All = 151 Farmers)
      • 71 conventional farmers (47%)
      • 80 SRI farmers (53%)
    • 14 Focus Group discussions
  • 7. Factors Influencing Paddy Cultivation
    • Based on Overall Rankings:
    • Family consumption
    • Income generation
    • Lack of other work
    • Fertilizer subsidized
    • Knowledge & skills
    • Lower inputs than other crops
    • Easy to do
    • Ability to get loans
  • 8. Factors Influencing the Shift to SRI from Conventional Practices
  • 9. Reasons for Using Exchange Labour for SRI
    • Both exchange and hired labour were used by farmers for individual and group enterprises;
    • SRI farmers heavily used exchange labour for group enterprises for:
      • Land preparation - 80%
      • Transplanting – 72%
      • Weeding – 66%
      • Harvesting - 88%
      • Transporting – 74%
  • 10. Conclusion/Recommendations on Farmer Perceptions
    • No significant bias in favour or against SRI practitioners.
    • An examination of family characteristics would indicate that SRI farmers are, by and large, poorer than those using conventional methods.
    • In comparison with the conventional farmers, SRI farmers have significantly larger families, and less land under cultivation.
    • In turn, their marketable surplus (in excess of consumption needs) is less than half that of the conventional farmers.
  • 11. Farmer-Based Research:
    • Locations selected:
      • Matara District (Deniyaya)
      • Anuradhapura (Thambuththegama, Galnewa)
      • - Kegalle District (Warakapola)
      • Ampara (Uhana )
    • Type of Seed Used: BG 358 –Samba
            • BG 352 – Nadu
    • - Total No of Experiments - 19
      • Broadcasting – 7
      • Transplanting – 5
      • SRI -- 7
  • 12. Data Collection
  • 13. Plant Height (in cms), by Variety and Cultivation Method
  • 14. Root length (in cms) at 30 & 45 DAP, by variety and cultivation method
  • 15. Average density of Tillers at 0, 30, 45 and 100 DAP (per m 2 )
  • 16. Number of seeds/panicle
  • 17. Comparison of Productivity (MT/Ha)
  • 18. Average yields, by location and method
  • 19. Recommendations
    • OAus undertakes similar trials during the 2008 Yala and 2008/09 Maha seasons, so that some assessment can be made of any seasonal differences.
    • OAus shares these findings with CBO partners and communities, other NGOs and INGOs and the relevant government authorities engaged in agricultural development activities.
    • OAus invites and actively encourages the Department of Agriculture, through its research unit and extension officers, to undertake similar farmer-based trials in a larger number and greater variety of locations with a view to eventually generalising results to the whole country.
    • OAus instigates whole-field trials of the three different methods to reduce the possibility of scaling-up error. This will require the careful selection of neighbouring farmers who are considered equally competent in their methods of cultivation and whose lands are considered to be equally fertile.
    • OAus uses future farmer-based trials to also measure the actual labour required by the different crop establishment methods and then to assess a realistic opportunity cost of this.
  • 20.
    • This report documents the findings of a farmer-based research project aimed at comparing the yield of the SRI approach with conventional production methods used in Sri Lanka; it forms part of the larger study.
    • Scepticism by government officials and agricultural extension workers has severely retarded the spread and adoption rate of SRI techniques in the country.
    • A companion report looking at farmer’s perceptions of the SRI approach found that labour is not of major concern for farmers practicing paddy cultivation in groups, where exchange labour is readily available (Perera et al. , 2007)
    • This led to a decision to implement ‘farmer-based research’ that would place farmers at the centre of the trials and enable OAus to then compare yields that farmers are actually obtaining under normal field conditions.
  • 21. Marketing Aspects of SRI Rice
  • 22. Objectives:
    • To assess market demand and potential for a higher-priced SRI rice among consumers in one district.
    • To identify consumer preferences from among varieties of SRI rice.
    • To examine consumer perceptions and issues of SRI rice marketing and solicit ideas for promoting SRI rice as a value-added, higher-priced alternative to conventional rice
  • 23. Structure of SRI Rice Marketing
    • Marketing project was implemented through the Development Communication Foundation (DCF) – Partner Organization in Kegalle district (Warakapola)
    • 5 poor women as a group were involved
    • Functions performed: purchasing, transporting, processing, promotion, and selling of SRI rice
    • Supply of SRI paddy from Anuradhapura (Kalawewa), and Warakapola areas
    • Types of rice sold – Nadu, Samba, and Raw-white;
    • Size of the packtse sold – 5 kg, 50 kg, and 750 g – ‘easy-carry pack’;
    • Paddy purchased at Rs 1.00/kg higher than the open market price
  • 24. Methodology Used
    • Data Collection:
      • Rapid marketing appraisal
      • Focus Group discussions – behavioural aspects
      • 39 regular customers were interviewed
  • 25. Schematic Presentation of Marketing Channel of SRI Rice Experiment
  • 26. Changes in Retail Prices, by Variety of Rice (Nov, 2006 – April, 2007)
  • 27. Composition of SRI Rice Sold (by variety) Samba 48.4% Nadu 48.4% Raw - White 10.2%
  • 28. Number of Customer Visits and Average Purchases (per fortnight) – Nov –April
    • Total no. of customers - 249
    • Total no. of visits - 352
    • Average no. of visits per customer = 1.4
    • Total purchased (kg) = 4829
    • Average purchase per customer (kg) = 19.4
    • Average purchase per visit (kg) = 13.7
  • 29. Processing and Handling Cost of SRI Rice (%) Milling 31% Transport 16% Labor 35% Rent 18%
  • 30. Farmer’s Share, Marketing Cost, and Margins of SRI Rice Marketing
  • 31. Age-Distribution of SRI Rice Customers >50 ( 17%) 41-50 (41%) 31-40 (35%) <30 ( 7%)
  • 32. Problems/Issues Identified by SRI Customers
  • 33. Concluding Remarks
    • Promote horizontal (e.g., group formation) and vertical (e.g., organic fertilizer; production of weeders and SRI rice processing and SRI rice- based products) integration possibilities
    • Capacity building – good trainers or mobilisers on SRI production process, should be strengthened
    • Initiate programmes for promotion of SRI rice in collaboration with govt. agencies, INGOs and NGOs
    • Establish 2 more SRI rice marketing centres in selected other districts as pilot projects
    • Farmer-based research on economic aspects – profitability, cost, and partial factor productivity and labour use in the SRI process should be promoted
    • Collaborative research projects with Department of Agriculture on SRI should be carried out
    • Build SRI networks at district level to share experiences and resources and collaborate with the Dept. of Agriculture and link up with the national SRI Network
    • Promote SRI rice enterprise as an alternative livelihood and eco-friendly farming approach among small farmers
  • 34.