Production Economics of Rice in Different Development Regions of Nepal< Article>

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Production Economics of Rice in Different Development Regions of Nepal< Article>
  103  【 Article 】  Journal of International Development and Cooperation , Vol.17, No.1, 2011, pp. 103-112 Production Economics of Rice in Different Development Regions of Nepal  Niraj Prakash JOSHI Graduate StudentGraduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima University1-5-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, 739-8529 JapanE-mail: Keshav Lall MAHARJAN Professor Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima University1-5-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, 739-8529 JapanE-mail: Luni PIYA Graduate StudentGraduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima University1-5-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, 739-8529 JapanE-mail: Abstract Rice is the most important staple food crop grown in Nepal. This study tries to analyze the production situation and production efciency of rice in different development regions of Nepal. In this study 480 farmers were selected randomly from 12 districts representing entire ve development regions and surveyed using semi-structured questionnaire. This information was supplemented by the information obtained from group discussions, observations and other secondary sources. With average landholding of 1.6 ha/household, 64.6% of the respondents were growing rice under 1 ha of land on an average. Western Development Region dominated all other development regions in terms of average production, marketed amount and yield. The benet-cost ratio of rice production was the highest in Central Development Region indicating the most efcient production practice in the country. This is mainly due to easy availability and judicious use of production inputs. The overall net prot was Rs 16,147 per ha. The most prominent  production problems as perceived by the farmers are lack of technical know-how, lack of irrigation, lack of organized credit facilities, and lack of quality inputs at the time of need. These problems need to be addressed to improve the  production situation and efciency of rice production in the country.  104   Niraj Prakash JOSHI, Keshav Lall MAHARJAN and Luni PIYA 1. Introduction Rice, maize, and wheat are three major food crops in Nepal. Among them rice is increasingly becoming the most important staple food crop and is grown in wide range of agro ecological zones under varying climates, altitudes and topography ranging from 60 meters in Tarai to 3050 meters above sea level in Chumchure, Jumla (Bhujel, 2004 and Bista, 2004). It occupies 58% of the country’s total cultivated land and 55% of the total food grain production, contributing to 25% of the country’s gross domestic product (MOAC, 2005). Thus it dominates the agricultural sector in Nepal. Many plans and programs were formulated and many operational modalities were experimented for the development of agriculture system including rice production in Nepal. However, the achievements are yet below the satisfactory level resulting into shifting of the country from a net exporter of food grain including rice to a net importer in recent years (Joshi et al., 2010; Maharjan & K. C., 2005; and Agricultural Projects Services Center & John Mellor Associates, 1995). This was mainly due to low rate of increase in agriculture production compared to population growth (Maharjan, 2003). The main factors responsible for this are inadequate supply of various essential inputs like quality fertilizer, improved seed and pesticides, coupled with lack of adequate irrigation facility and knowledge on improved techniques of cultivation. In addition, the poor farming techniques, insufcient incentive to augment production under the traditional system of land tenure (  Mohiyani 1  , share cropping), and lack of agricultural credit and marketing facilities are the factors responsible for this slow growth (Pro public, 2002). Particularly in the case of rice cultivation; irrigation, credit supply, input supply, soil problem, pests and diseases are recognized as the major production problems in Nepal (Television Trust for Environment, 2004). Considering the importance of rice production in the national economy and the problems faced by farmers, this study aims to assess situation, economics, potentials and constraints of rice production. 2. Methodology Stratified random sampling technique was used for the selection of 12 districts representing each of the five development regions and three agro-ecological zones (Mountains, Hills and Tarai) based on their potentiality for rice  production and accessibility (Figure 1). The Village Development Committees (VDCs) adjoining to the headquarters of the districts were purposively selected for the study. Thus, 40 farmers from the selected VDCs of each of the sampled district were randomly identied with the help of District Agriculture Development Ofce together with the agriculture service centers and sub centers of the respective districts and VDCs. In total 480 farmers were surveyed in the year 2003 using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires. These primary data were supplemented by the data and information obtained through observations and informal group discussions and secondary sources, as well.  105  Production Economics of Rice in Different Development Regions of Nepal Figure 1: Map of Nepal showing sample districts Source: Results were summarized using descriptive statistics together with Chi-Square test wherever applicable. Benet Cost Ratio, and net prot were calculated to assess the production efciency. The Cobb-Douglas production function (equation 1) was used to estimate the contribution of different independent variables like area, labor, farm yard manure (FYM), tractor use, chemical fertilizer use, irrigation and ecological zone on production (Y 1 ) . In order to get better separation of each component, logs were taken on both sides of Cobb Douglas production function (2). (1)lnY 1  = β 0  + β 1 lnarea + β 2 lnlab + β 3 lnFYM + β 4 dumtra + β 5 dumchf + β 6 dumirri + β 7 dummount (2)Here, Y 1  represents production of rice (in ton); area = area under rice production (in ha); lab = labor in man-days; FYM = farm yard manure (in doko 2 ); dumtra = dummy for tractor use (1 for tractor use and 0 for otherwise), dumchf = dummy for chemical fertilizer use (1 for chemical fertilizer use and 0 for otherwise), dumirri = dummy for irrigation (1 for irrigation and 0 for otherwise) and dummount = dummy for mountain region (1 for mountain region and 0 for otherwise), and β 0 is constant, β 1 , β 2, … β 7 are coefcient of respective variables. 3. Results and discussion 3.1. Land holding and utilization The average land holding is 1.5 ha/household (hh), which is higher compared to the national average (0.8 ha).  106   Niraj Prakash JOSHI, Keshav Lall MAHARJAN and Luni PIYA This is mainly due to the nature of survey concentrated on farmers having more land in order to perceive the problems and potentials of rice production more effectively. Irrigation is crucial for rice production. The average holding of the irrigated land is 0.8 ha, i.e. 52% of land is under irrigation, which in the case of the country is 54% (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2004). Table 1 . Distribution of sample households by rice cultivationDevelopment regionSample sizeRice cultivating householdsChi-Square valueP-valueEastern 12055 (45.8%)0.80.36 Central8054 (67.5%)9.80.02*Western8053 (66.2%)8.50.04*Mid-Western12088 (73.3%)20.00.00**Far-Western 8060 (75.0%)26.10.00**Overall 480310 (64.6%)40.80.00**   Source:  Field Survey 2003.  Note: * and ** indicate signicance level at 5% and 1%, respectively. Majority of (64.6%) the respondents were found to be cultivating rice, which is slightly low compared to the national scenario of 75.4% (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2003). This is mainly due to the expansion of cash crop in the sample areas. The proportion of the farmers growing rice is signicant in all development regions except Eastern Development Region (Table 1). Increasing interest of farmers on cash crops like tea, cardamom, broom grass, and ginger resulted into less interest of farmers towards rice cultivation in Eastern Development Region to a greater extent. 3.2. Potentiality of rice production Rice is an integral part of Nepalese agriculture system. Factors like geography, market, and technology are regarded as important factors in its production. Therefore, potentiality of rice cultivation was measured through the  perception of the farmers towards the geographic suitability, market availability and technical service availability. Central Development Region shows the highest potentiality in all aspects of rice cultivation (Table 2). Table 2: Perception towards potentiality of rice cultivation by development regionDevelopment regionPotentialitySuitableEastern (n 1  = 55)Geographical 37 (67.3%)Market 39 (70.9%)Technical 14 (25.5%)Central (n 3  = 54)Geographical 54 (100%)Market 53 (98.2%)Technical 53 (98.2%)Western (n 3  = 53)Geographical 53 (100%)Market 49 (92.5%)Technical 40 (75.5%)Mid-Western (n 3  = 88)Geographical 76 (86.4%)Market 62 (70.5%)Technical 65 (73.9%)Far-Western (n 3  = 60)Geographical 48 (80.0%)Market 48 (80.0%)Technical 59 (98.3%)   Source: Field Survey 2003.  107   Production Economics of Rice in Different Development Regions of Nepal From the perspective of geographical suitability, Central Development Region and Western Development Region were perceived as the most potential development regions. This is mainly due to the easy access to market in these development regions. Technically, Far-Western Development Region and Central Development Region have high  potential for rice production. Timely availability of production inputs and frequent contact with extension workers, who help the farmers to make judicious use of those inputs, are the main reasons to perceive these development regions to have the technical potential. 3.3. Knowledge and use of improved rice production technology Due to lack of knowledge about the improved technology, most respondents are using inputs of improved technology in injudicious ways. This led to the inefcient use of those inputs. Only 5.2% of the respondents were found to have proper knowledge on improved technology though 41.6% are using it (Table 3). Therefore there is a potentiality to increase rice production by regulating the use of existing inputs by providing proper knowledge on their rational use to the farmers. Knowledge and usage of these inputs is the highest in the Central Development Region. Table 3: Knowledge and use of local and improved rice production technologyDevelopment regionAttributesImprovedEasternKnowledge2 (3.6%)Usages11 (20.0%)CentralKnowledge4 (7.4%)Usages31 (57.4%)WesternKnowledge2 (3.8%)Usages 20 (37.7%)Mid-WesternKnowledge6 (6.8%)Usages 46 (52.2%)Far WesternKnowledge2 (3.3%)Usages 21 (35.0%)Overall Knowledge16 (5.2%)Usages129 (41.6%) Source:  Field Survey 2003. 3.4. Input use situation Seed, labor, draft power, tractor, FYM, chemical fertilizer, irrigation, pesticide and farm equipments like sickle,  plough, spade, etc. are the major inputs used for cultivation of rice besides land. Labor is the most important input for rice  production right from the preparation of seedbed to harvesting and threshing. All together 86.9 labor man-days are involved in production of rice in 1 ha, of which 36.5 are male and 50.4 are female. This signies that rice cultivation is employing higher proportion of female labors, especially in seedbed preparation, transplanting, weeding, fertilizer application, harvesting and threshing. Draft powers are used to plough, plank and level the eld, and for dain 4  . The use of draft power was found negatively associated with tractor use that replaces the draft power used for land preparation and dain . With the highest proportion of household using tractor, the draft power use is the lowest in Western Development RegionThe average seed rate for rice was found to be 66.5 kg/ha, quite high compared to the national average of 55 kg, which is again quite high compared to standard recommendation dose of 15-25 kg/ha in transplanted condition (FAO, 2000; Dat, 2001). The seed rate was found to be the lowest in Central Development Region, which reects the efcient use of seed in the region. FYM is basically the local resource produced and consumed within the household from their livestock. It is used as supplements to the chemical fertilizer by 66.5% of the households whereas for 33.5% of the
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