The study was carried out in Mandya district of Karnataka state to study the knowledge and adoption of improved practices in selected farming systems of Mandya district. Three taluks were selected for study based on the dominance of three farming systems existing in the study area i.e., a) Paddy + Sugar cane + Dairy (farming system-I) b) Ragi + Tomato + Coconut + Agro-forestry (farming system-II) c) Ragi + Dairy (farming system-III), which were selected by preliminary survey. Thirty respondents were selected from each of the three selected farming systems. Thus, a total of ninety respondents were selected for the study. The findings indicated that, majority of farmers fall under medium category of adoption. Among the independent variables viz., education, annual income, extension participation, mass media participation and cosmopoliteness were found significantly associated with adoption level of farmers in all the three selected farming systems.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 50 to 60 per cent of population and contributes roughly the same proportion to the national income of the country. New strategies for enhancing agricultural production based on high yielding varieties (HYVs) seed and fertilizer technology (a package widely propagated as green revolution) has contributed to the growth in production and productivity. As a result of the green revolution since the mid sixties, the farm productivity has also increased significantly from 522 kg/ha to more than 1500 kg/ ha.
However, the per capita availability of land has declined to as low as 0.48 hectare in past few decades with increase in the population. With the decline in farm size, it would be increasingly difficult to produce enough food for the family. Only 25 to 30 per cent of the modern agriculture technology has adopted by the farmers. This modern technology however has been restricted to favorable farming situations, since there is no further scope for horizontal expansion of land for cultivation. The only alternative left is for vertical expansion of land through adoption of suitable technique in diversification of the farming system. To understand the scope of technology adoption in different farming Systems, there is a need to study the socioeconomic characters like educational level, family size, size of land holding, organizational participation and assets structure of the farmers. Assessing standard of living of farmers in these farming systems is also equally important. With this background, the present study was undertaken with following specific objectives-
Material and Methods
The study was carried out in Mandya district of Karnataka state. Out of seven taluks, three taluks were selected for study based on the dominance of three farming systems i.e., a) Paddy + Sugar cane + Dairy (farming system-I) from irrigated situation b) Ragi + Tomato + Coconut + Agro-forestry (farming system-II) from semi irrigated situation c) Ragi + Dairy (farming system-III) from rainfed situations, which were selected by preliminary survey. Nine villages i.e. three villages for each farming system having more number of farmers practicing one or more number of above mentioned farming systems were selected purposively for the study. Thirty respondents were selected from each of the three selected farming system. Thus, a total of ninety respondents were selected for the study. The research design adopted for this study was ex-post-facto technique, since the phenomenon has already occurred and is continuing. Scale developed by Sengupta (1967) is employed to measure the adoption level of respondents. The data were elicited from the respondent through pre-tested, structured interview schedule by personal interview method. Data were quantified and analyzed with the help of the statistical tests like frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation and chi-square.
Results and Discussion
Adoption Level of Farmers about the Selected Farming Systems
The results revealed that fifty per cent of farmers had medium adoption level with respect to farming system-I followed by 36.7 per cent and 53.3 per cent of farmers had high and medium adoption level with respect to farming system-II and farming system-III respectively (Table 1).
Table 1: Adoption level of respondents with respect to improved practices in selected farming systems (n=90)
|Farming System-II (n=30)
|Farming System-III (n=30)
|Low (< 51.25)
Mean = 57.42; SD = 12.3, ** Significant at 1%
The adoption of improved practices of selected farming systems depend on various factors such as farmers knowledge, situational factors, extent of support of change agents, personal and social-psychological characteristics of farmers, innovativeness, complexities of practices and timely availability of inputs etc. However, it is true that all the recommended practices will not be adopted to same degree by all the members in a given social system. These findings are in confirmation with the findings of Shivamurthy et al. (2008) and Ramakrishna Rao et al. (2008). There was significant association was found between three selected farming systems in adopting the improved practices.
Association between Personal, Socio – Economic and Psychological Characteristics of Farmers and Their Adoption Level
The Table 2 indicated that in farming system –I, size of land holding, size of the family and annual income were significantly associated with the adoption level of farmers at 1 per cent level. Whereas, education, extension participation, experience in farming, social participation and management orientation were found significantly associated with the adoption level of farmers at 5 per cent level. The analysis between adoption level and personal, socio – economic and psychological characteristics of farmers in farming system-II indicate that size of land holding, extension participation, mass media participation and risk orientation were significantly associated with the adoption level of farmers at 1 per cent level. Other variables like age, education, experience in farming, social participation and management orientation were significantly associated with the adoption level at 5 per cent level.
The Table 2 further indicated the adoption level of farming system-III which shows that size of land holding, extension participation, experience in farming, social participation, cosmopoliteness and management orientation were significantly associated with the adoption level of farmers at 5 per cent level.
Table 2: Association between independent variables with adoption level of farmers practicing selected farming systems (n=90)
|Computed chi-square value
|Farming System-I (n=30)
|Farming System-II (n=30)
|Farming System-III (n=30)
|Size of land holding
|Size of the family
|Experience in farming
|Mass media participation
*Significant at 5 % level, ** Significant at 1 % level, NS: Non Significant
As the age advances, people become old and docile, they prefer to continue traditional practices and they find it less risky in following old and indigenous practices. Farmers practicing farming system-II had contributed significant association with extent of adoption. The old age farmers had strong attitude base of previous experience and changing such attitude is a slow process. Therefore, the old farmers might have not responded quickly to the new practices. The young farmers being enthusiastic come forward to try new practices in their farming (Shrivastav, 2002).
The study conducted by Ankulwar (2001) suggested possible reason for significant association between adoption and education in case of farming system-I and farming system-II facilitates individuals to learn about new agricultural technology, which in turn, lead to adoption of the technology. According to Varadaraju et al (2009) there is a significant association between size of the family and adoption level in farming system-I. As irrigated farming system is labour intensive, adoption of improved farming practices needs more labours. So, family members are also used as labour. The results revealed that the farmers practicing Paddy + Sugar cane + Dairy farming was significantly related to their adoption level. Annual income of farmers following farming system-I was significantly associated with their adoption levels. The probable reason is that farmers wants to get more yields and to improve their income level, they have to know about latest agricultural practices. Thus, annual income among farmers acts as initiating factor to adopt the new recommended technologies. Similar finding was reported by Pottappa (2008). The possible reason for significant association between adoption and extension participation of farmers practicing selected farming systems is that increased participation of farmers in extension activities makes them to be more confident about the technology and it will have direct effect on decision of farmers whether to adopt or reject the technology. This finding is in conformity with the finding of Pottappa (2008). The study conducted by Bhagwat and Gohad (2003) revealed that there was significant association between experience in farming and adoption level. The reasons might be that as a person with more experience in farming will be able to take the appropriate decisions regarding the farming activities in comparisons with past experience in farming.
There was significant association between mass media participation and adoption level of the farmers practicing farming system-II. It is natural that mass media carry more information on improved practices of farming systems. Farmers were exposed adequately to mass media and get influenced by it (Thippeswamy , 2007). Social participation of the farmers was found significantly association to their adoption level. Social participation normally develops more personal contacts with outsiders who might have influenced farmers to adopt improved practices of selected farming system. Findings of Bhagwat and Gohad (2003) are in conformity with the present study. Cosmopoliteness and the adoption level of the farmers practicing farming system-III was found significantly associated. Contact with agricultural officers, representatives of cooperative societies and APMC’s provide them with good guidance about the new technology which motivates them to adopt recent practices. The findings reported by Venkata Shiva Reddy (2006) were in line with this study. Management orientation and the adoption level had significant association in all the three selected farming systems. The possible reason might be due to the fact that respondent with a more scientific outlook would tend to adopt the latest technology on their fields. The study by Venkata Shiva Reddy (2006) shown significant association between adoption and risk orientation of farmers practicing farming system-II. It is natural that farmers, who are willing to take risk, will try new methods in order to maximize their profits.
From the above findings, majority of farmers fall under medium category of adoption and significant association was found between three selected farming systems. Among the independent variables viz., education, annual income, extension participation, mass media participation and cosmopoliteness were found significantly associated with adoption level in all the three farming systems. The variables that are positive and significantly related to the adoption levels of improved practices must be given special emphasis while conducting extension educational programme in this area.