AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

Agricultural Economics section was established in the year 1972 with the objectives to investigate cost and production of rice under farmers' field conditions, evaluate experimental findings and to undertake socio-economic survey of different categories of farmers and to assess the impact of new technology.

Change in rice farming in selected areas

In a collaborative study with the International Rice Research Institute, changes in rice farming in a selected district in the state of Orissa were observed. Between 1966 and 1972, the proportion of farmers using high-yielding varieties (HYV) of rice rose from 2 to 98%. The rate of adoption of these varieties was very rapid in the first three years. In 1972, the proportion of area covered by HYVs during dry and wet seasons was 91 and 15%, respectively. The use of fertilizers and insecticides was highly associated with the adoption of HYVs. Thirty-four per cent of farmers reported increase in labour requirement in the wet season after the adoption of HYVs. There was no dry season rice in the villages before the arrival of HYV. The major constraints to rice production experienced by the farmers were difficulties in obtaining good quality seed, fertilizers, insecticides and problems of diseases and insects. Although profits from rice farming increased, it was not substantial to improve the standard of living significantly.

Cropping pattern followed under National Demonstration Trials in Cuttack district

Jute-rice-rice was most profitable cropping pattern followed by rice-ragi-rice and rice-black- gram-rice. However, rice-blackgram-rice gave highest return per rupee spent. There had been very little change in the cropping intensity following National Demonstration Trials. In most villages, introduction of HYV of rice in the dry season was the only significant change in the cropping pattern. Use of fertilizer had spread substantially among the farmers which was not influenced by the National Demonstration trials. Size of holding had no effect on the use of fertilizers. Use of chemicals for plant protection had become a common practice in the villages surveyed. But, once again the motivation to use plant protection came from sources other than the National Demonstration Trials.

Impact of high-yielding rice varieties on small and large farms

There was practically no difference in the attitude of the small and large farmers to the acceptability of HYVs. The cost of cultivation per hectare of HYV and local rice was higher in small farms than in large farms in both the wet and dry seasons. Fertilizers accounted for more than 26% of the total cost of cultivation of HYV in the dry season and 17% in the wet season. However, small farmers had higher yield per hectare than large farmers. Production efficiency measured in terms of gross return per hectare was also higher in small farms but return per rupee invested was higher in large farms. The extent of credit per hectare was greater for the small farms. Cooperative societies provided the major part of the credit for both classes of farmers. A higher proportion of paddy was sold and the sale of paddy was observed to be more in the dry season. Sales as a percentage of total production was about 14% for the small and 25% for the large farms.

Rice cultivation and marketing

A study undertaken in ORP area of Cuttack district of Orissa state revealed a complete coverage of the rice area by HYV in the dry season. This coverage was only 16% in the wet season because of low straw yield from HYVs, poor drainage facilities, and greater incidence of diseases and pests on HYV of rice. The cost of cultivation of HYV per hectare was more in the dry season than in the wet season. This was due to greater use of labour and fertilizers in the dry season. Fertilizer alone accounted for nearly 29% of total cost in the dry season while in the wet season this was only 10% for HYV and 4% for local rice. There was also no expenditure on pesticides for local rice in the wet season because of these varieties are relatively resistant to diseases and pests. Family labour was negatively related whereas hired labour was positively related to farm size. The human and bullock labour together accounted 50, 62 and 67% of total cost for the dry season HYV, wet season HYV and local rice, respectively. The same trend was observed for yield, gross return and farm profits. Cost of cultivation per hectare tended to decline with the increase in farm size. Most farmers grew HYV in the wet season for their seed requirements for the dry season crop.

An increasing trend was observed both in marketed surplus and marketable surplus of paddy. While the level of stock being maintained was more or less constant, the proportion of produce being utilized for home consumption, seed and wage payment in kind etc. was observed to be decreasing. Though there was increase in both the sales per farm and the number of farmers selling their produce, the increasing trend was also observed in purchase per farm in case of small farmers. There was marginal increase in number of farmers having sales above 0.5 tones. There was no marked change in the pattern of majority of large farmers selling more than 2 tones per year. Also the marketing pattern exhibited a bimodal distribution with one peak between March and April and the other spread over from November to December.

Socio-economic constraints to high rice yield in Orissa

A study in Athgarh block of Cuttack district indicates that variable cost of cultivation was 12.25% higher in case of high yielding varieties as compared to local rice. The yield obtained was 2.1 t/ha and 1.6 t/ha for high yielding varieties and local rice variety, respectively indicating 29.6% higher yield with high yielding varieties. The major constraints for low rice yield were unattractive return from rice cultivation, risk involved in investment on wet season rice cultivation and financial limitations of the peasants for investment on purchase of inputs.

Cost of cultivation in fixed cropping sequences

A study was undertaken to estimate the cropping intensity, cost of cultivation and return from different crops in the cropping sequence in these different situations i.e. minimum yield guarantee area (MYG), high intensive cultivation area (HI) and rainfed area (RF). During 1982, the variable cost of cultivation of rice was Rs. 1876/ha for MYG area, Rs. 1694/ha for HI area and Rs. 1551/ha for rainfed area. Rice yields in these areas were 2.6, 2.1 and 1.4 t/ha, respectively.

In MYG area, the average annual income from all crops for a farm family was Rs. 3956/- and, in HI area it was Rs. 2388/-. But, in a purely rainfed area, where only one crop of monsoon rice was taken, the average farm income was as low as RS. 1059/- in a year. This clearly brings out the striking impact of irrigation on both cropping intensity and farm income.

Evaluation of Lab to Land Program

In Cuttack district of Orissa, the introduction of HIV of rice has augmented the yield considerably with the implementation of Lab to Land Program, but immediately after the withdrawal of the project, the rice yield decreased due to non-maintenance of optimum plant population, late transplanting, low level of fertilizer use and inadequate plant protection measures. Although the Lab to Land Program (11982-85) has brought an awareness with marginal and small farmers for the use of appropriate inputs to obtain higher yields, due to paucity of water in the irrigation canal and outstanding loan, these farmers could not use the technology for sustaining the yield obtained during the implementation of the program.

Economics of rice cultivation in ORP area

This study was undertaken in Basudevpur of Balasore district (Orissa). The study area was characterized by lowland vulnerable to flash flood. The coverage of rice area under HYV was very low in the dry season (27%) due to low straw yield from HYVs (as straw is used for thatching purposes), poor drainage of fields, non-availability of HYV seed, fertilizer, pesticide and credit at proper time and incidence of diseases and pests of HYV rice. In 1985, the variable cost of cultivation was higher in the dry season than in wet season. A similar trend was observed for yield, gross return and net return. Fertilizer accounted 33% of total cost for cultivating HYV in the dry season, while it amounted to only 20% in the wet season.

Rice cultivation in Orissa - a system approach

The coefficient of area under rice significant at one per cent level exert an influence on production whereas the non-significant coefficients of rainfall and fertilizer command less on rice production. One per cent increase in each input i.e. rice area, rainfall and fertilizer would have brought about 0.6654, 0.0082 and 0.0520% increase in rice production. The sum of all the elasticities displays diminishing return to scale. The coefficient of multiple determination shows that 77% variation in rice production is explained by the combined effect of area under rice, rainfall and fertilizer.

Economics of seed production programme of CRRI farm (1989)

The cost of cultivation of breeder seed was Rs. 10,324/ha for the variety, Gayatri which yielded 3.3 t/ha. This variety yielded higher than all other varieties tested, and the variety, Panidhan gave the lowest yield of 2.5 t/ha. The cost of production per quintal of seed was the highest for Panidhan (Rs. 393/-) and lowest for Gayatri (Rs. 296/-).

Impact of technological change on rice yield in ORP area

The percentage increase in input of HYV of rice cultivation was 21 for human labour, 15 for bullock labour, 2 for seed, 18 for manure and 179 for fertilizer over local rice variety in Puri district of Orissa state. Total variable cost was 31% higher in HYV than local rice whereas yield increased by 67%. Net return received from HYV of rice was 24% higher than from local rice. The gross return per rupee spent was also higher in HYV of rice. The cost of production per quintal based on variable cost of HYV was 18% lower than local rice.

Risk analysis and management

The variability of rice area under rainfed lowland i.e. winter rice from 1984-85 to 990-91was highest in Ganjam followed by Phulbani, Sundergarh and Koraput districts of Orissa (1984-85 to 1990-91). However, in Puri district, it was least. The variability of rice area for Orissa as a whole was about 45%. But within the districts studied, variability in rice area ranged between 2 and 14%. Highest variability in rice production was recorded in Ganjam district followed by Phulbani, Bolangir and Puri with Mayurbhanj showing the lowest. The variability in production from the mean for Orissa State was 55%. But within the districts, the variability fluctuated between 6 and 41%. Ganjam district followed by Phulbani, Bolangir and Balasore recorded the highest variation in rice productivity, with Mayurbhanj showing the lowest variability. Within the districts, the variability in productivity ranged from 6 to 33% as compared to the variability for Orissa which was 25%.

The wide variability in area, production and productivity of rice under rainfed lowland situation i.e. winter rice in Orissa are due to fluctuations in rainfall and occurrence of natural calamities. Besides, the popularity of local varieties may be another contributing factor, since modern varieties are mostly confined to the irrigated pockets of the State. In addition, management may also play a vital role in determining the level of production and productivity of rice.

District-wise variability (coefficient of variation) of area, production and productivity

of rice under rainfed lowland (winter rice) in Orissa (1984-85 to 1990-91).

District

Variability (%)

 

Area

Production

Productivity

Balasore

3

23

23

Bolangir

3

26

24

Cuttack

3

20

19

Dhenkanal

3

25

22

Ganjam

14

41

33

Kalahandi

4

19

19

Keonjhar

4

21

20

Koraput

5

17

14

Mayurbhanj

2

6

6

Phulbhani

11

34

28

Puri

2

25

16

Sambalpur

3

20

17

Sundargarh

6

12

20

Orissa (total)

45

55

25

Economic analysis of experiments at CRRI farm

Nitrogen use efficiency of rice

Six varieties grown in wet season and four varieties in dry season of 1989 were compared for nitrogen use efficiency. The yield at zero nitrogen varied from 1.7 to 3.2 t/ha in wet and 3.2 to 4.0 t/ha in dry season. The range of optimum nitrogen rate varied from 45 to 68 kg N/ha in wet and 108 to 146 kg N/ha in dry season. The average response of paddy per kg of N was found higher in the dry season (27 kg) and lowest in the wet season (21 kg). Yield at optimum dose of N was 4.0 t/ha in the wet season and 7.1 t/ha in the dry season.

Five early varieties, IET 8886, IET 1444, IET 7959, IET 7987 and IET 7978 were used in this study. The yield obtained at zero level of nitrogen ranged from 1.9 t/ha for IET 7987 to 3.2 t/ha for IET 8886. The optimum rate of nitrogen required was the highest for IET 7987 (62 kg N/ha) and lowest for IET 9978 (42 kg N/ha). Average response per kg of nitrogen at optimum level of nitrogen was high in IET 1444 (26 kg paddy/kg N) and low in IET 7987 (8 kg paddy/kg N). Maximum return was obtained from variety IET 1444 (Rs. 1967/ha) and minimum from variety IET 7987 (Rs. 633/ha). However, the superfine variety IET 8886 occupied the second position on the basis of net return to nitrogen because of its grain quality.

Combined use of organic and inorganic nitrogen for lowland rice

Economic analysis of experimental data of two rice varieties, Seema (semi-dwarf) and Utkal Prabha (semi-tall) under intermediate ecosystem indicated that variable cost of rice cultivation in case of green manuring, use of 40 kg nitrogen and zero nitrogen application was higher in transplanted than in direct-seeded rice. However, yield of transplanted rice was lower (1.6 t.ha) than the direct-sown crop (2.32 t/ha) due to poor crop establishment in higher depth of water. The grain yield of Utkal Prabha (2.4 t/ha) was significantly more than that of Seem (1.9 t/ha) under transplanted condition. the gross return per rupee spent was higher in crop grown with green manuring followed by the crop raised with 40 kg N under both transplanted and direct-seeded conditions. Net returns were negative in case of transplanting due to higher variable cost of cultivation and low grain yield. It is reasonable to conclude that direct seeding is economically more profitable than transplanting under intermediate lowland conditions.

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