CONSTRAINTS IN ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED PRACTICES OF VEGETABLE CROPS

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2 Int. J. Agric.Sc & Vet.Med Mandeep Sharma, 2014 Research Paper ISSN Vol. 2, No. 3, August All Rights Reserved CONSTRAINTS IN ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED PRACTICES OF VEGETABLE CROPS Mandeep Sharma 1* *Corresponding Author: Mandeep Sharma, Cultivation of vegetables and fruits is now becoming a viable commercial proposition. With the introduction of liberal trade policies, prospects for export of fruits and vegetables have improved. Vegetables provide a good source of income to the growers and play an important part in human nutrition. But still, there is a wide gap between current production and potential productivity, in this view a study was undertaken to find out the constraints faced by the farmers in the adoption of the recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. Four major vegetable crops, i.e., potato, tomato, peas and cauliflower and four farm practices viz., Improved seeds, fertilizer applications, plant protection measures and storage and marketing were selected for the study. A random sample of 160 respondents was taken from two purposively selected districts of Punjab. The study reveal that high cost of chemicals, non-availability of disease free seeds, non-availability of chemicals, lack of labour, lack of time, lack of technical knowledge, financial problem, poor shelf life, inadequate supply of storage material, lack of marketing facilities, less support price and price fluctuation were the main constraints encountered by the vegetable growers in the adoption of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. Keywords: Vegetable growers, Recommended, Cultivation practices, Constraints, Adoption INTRODUCTION Cultivation of vegetables and fruits is a viable commercial proposition. With the introduction of liberal trade policies, prospects for export of fruits and vegetables have improved. Vegetables provide a good source of income to the growers and play an important part in human nutrition. They are quick growing and yield immediate returns to the growers. They have a vital role to play on the food front as they reduce the demand of cereals. Vegetables are one of the cheapest sources of natural protective food, contributing carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in human diet (Choudhury, 2006). Vegetable crops are short duration and therefore more number of crops can be grown per year. Due to shrinkage of agricultural land, urbanization and industrialization, cultivation of vegetable crops will be more economic. Vegetable crops also play an important role in 1 Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India. 66

3 diversification of agriculture and help conserve the ever-depleting underground water. Area and production of vegetables in the world are on rise. China is the world s largest producer of vegetables followed by India, USA and Turkey. On a global basis, potato leads in production followed by tomato, onion, cabbage and brinjal. The potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat which is consumed by more than a billion people worldwide. Both potato production and consumption are accelerating in most of the developing countries including India and it is expected that the trend will continue for the years to come. The emerging Asian economies, viz. India and China together contribute nearly 1/3 rd of the global potato production today (Anonymous, 2012). India produces lakh tones of potato in (Kumar, 2012). Vegetables are one of the cheapest sources of natural pr otective f ood, contr ibuting carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in human diet. Vegetable cultivation has also become highly commercialized now days. But still, there is a wide gap between current production and potential productivity. So efforts have to be made by researchers, policy makers and extension workers together to overcome these constraints (George and Singh, 2006). The benefits of modern agricultural technology are yet to reach to the majority of the farmers. Several improved technologies have been developed. But the farmers are somewhat reluctant to adopt the latest technology. To enhance the adoption of recommended farm practices; it becomes necessary to know the constraints faced by the farmers in adoption of recommended practices of vegetable crops. Keeping the above points in view the study was undertaken to find out the constraints faced by the farmers in the adoption of the recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. MATERIALS AND METHODS Locale and Sampling: The present investigation was conducted in two districts namely, Jalandhar and Ludhiana from one of the most developed states of Punjab, India. A list of vegetable growers was procured from the office of State Department of Horticulture Jalandhar and Ludhiana. Eighty vegetable growers, who were cultivating these selected vegetables crop on at least two acres of land, were selected randomly from each of these two districts, making a total of one hundred sixty respondents. Selection of Vegetables Crops: Four major vegetable crops, i.e., Potato, Tomato, Peas and Cauliflower were selected for the study, as maximum area was under these vegetable crops. Selection of Farm Practices: The selected farm practices for the study were improved seeds, fertilizer applications, plant protection measures, storage and marketing. Data Collection: An interview schedule was developed which consisted of questions to elicit response regarding the following aspect. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The constraints faced by the vegetable growers were studied by asking them to mention the problems which had hampered the production of these selected vegetable crops or influenced their decision for non-adoption of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. The findings in this regard have been discussed as under. Improved Seed: Improved seed variety plays a significant role in the quality and yield of 67

4 vegetable crops and subsequently for fetching remunerative prices in the market. It is clear from the data in Table 1 that 43.75% of the total respondents reported high cost of chemicals for the seed treatment as the main constraint f or non- adoption of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. Other constraints as expressed by them were disease free seed not easily available (35.63%), treatment of seed is a complicated technique (27.50%), high cost of seed (26.88%), difficulty in getting seed of required varieties (20.00%), lack of improved seed varieties (18.75%), and lack of knowledge of variety wise seed rate (17.50%). Dhillon and Kumar (2004) had also reported that high cost of seed and lack of improved seed varieties were the problems faced by farmers in adoption. Fertilizer Application: It is clear from the data in Table 1 that about one third of respondents, i.e., 33.75% and 38.75% of respondents of Jalandhar reported that lack of technical knowhow and lack of labour respectively, were the main reasons of non-adoption of recommended farm practices. In case of Ludhiana majority of the respondents, i.e., 35.00% and 32.50% reported lack of labour and non-availability of fertilizer respectively as main reasons. About one third of each of the total respondents reported the constraints like lack of labour, lack of time and non-availability of fertilizers. Out of the total respondents 27.50, and 18.75% of respondents had mentioned the reasons like high cost of fertilizers, lack of knowledge about dose and application of fertilizers and nonavailability of fertilizer respectively. These Table 1: Distribution of Respondents Regarding the Constraints Related to Adoption of Improved Seeds and Fertilizer Application (n = 160) Constraints Jalandhar Ludhiana Total f % f % f % Improved Seeds 1. Difficulty in getting the seeds of required variety Disease free seeds not easily available Lack of knowledge of variety wise seed rate Treatment of seeds is a complicated technique High cost of chemicals for seed treatment High cost of seeds Lack of improved seed varieties Fertilizer Application 1. High cost of fertilizers Lack of technical know- how Lack of labour Lack of time Non-availability of fertilizers Lack of knowledge about dose and method of application Note: * Multiple responses. 68

5 findings are in line with the findings Ghandi et al. (2008). Weed Control: The main reason elicited from the total respondents (46.88%) was that weeds were used as fodder so there was no need for them to control weeds. Lack of time (42.50%), non-availability of labour (31.25%), high cost of weedicides (30.00%) a nd lack of technical Table 2: Distribution of Respondents Regarding the Constraints Related to Adoption of Plant Protection Measures (n = 160) Constraints Jalandhar Ludhiana Total f % f % f % Note: * Multiple responses. Weed Control 1. High cost of weedicides Lack of time Weeds used as fodder Lack of technical guidance Non-availability of labour Insect-Pest Control 1. High cost of insecticide/pesticide Non-availability Problem in identifying the insect/pests Not economic Financial problem Lack of appropriate spraying equipments Lack of skilled labour Lack of technical know how Complicated technique Inferior or poor quality of insecticide/pesticide Lack of knowledge about the correct dose of insecticide/ pesticide Disease Control 1. High cost of fungicide Lack of technical knowledge in identifying diseases Lack of technical know-how in the application of fungicide Lack of appropriate spraying equipments Financial problem Lack of knowledge regarding management of fungicide Non-availability of skilled labour Complicated technique Inferior or poor quality of fungicide

6 guidance (25.63%) were some of the other constraints faced by the respondents in adoption of the plant protection measures of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops (Table 2). These findings are in consonance with the findings of Dhillon and Kumar (2004). The data further reveal that more than half of the respondents, i.e., 51.25% of Jalandhar mentioned weeds were used as fodder as a main constraint. Approximately 29.00% of respondents of Jalandhar had reported lack of technical; guidance. In Ludhiana about one fourth of respondents, i.e., 42.50% stated that they had used weeds as fodder, while near 39.00% of respondents had mentioned lack of time as main constraint for not adopting recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. Insect-Pest Control: It is evident from the figure presented in the Table 2 that nearly one third of the total respondents, i.e., 39.38, 35.63, 35.00, 34.38, and 33.13% had mentioned, not economic, financial problem, lack of technical know- how, lack of knowledge about correct dose of insecticide/pesticide, poor quality of insecticide/ pesticide and problem in identifying the insect/ pest were some of the constraints for not adopting the recommended farm practices. Majority of the total respondents, i.e., 47.50% had stated high cost of insecticide/pesticide as a main reason. Nearly 27.50% and 26.88% of total respondents gave non-availability and lack of skilled labour as other reasons for non-adoption. Only 18.13% of respondents of both of the districts had mentioned lack of appropriate spraying equipments as other constraint. These findings are in agreement with the findings of Kumar (2008). Disease Control: It can be reveal from the data in Table 2 that majority of the respondents of Jalandhar (61.25%) reported non-availability of skilled labour as the main reason for not adopting the recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. In case of Ludhiana majority of the respondents, i.e., 42.50% reported lack of technical knowledge in identifying diseases as the major constraints. Out of the total respondents majority, i.e., 51.25% reported non-availability of skilled labour as the major constraint for the nonadoption of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops, followed by the financial problem (48.75%), lack of technical knowledge in identifying diseases (46.88%), high cost of fungicide (43.75%), lack of appropriate spraying equipments (38.75%) and poor quality of fungicide (37.50%). Only 20.63% of the respondents of both districts had mentioned the reason of lack of technical know-how in the application of fungicides for not adopting the recommended farm practices. These results are in consonance with the results of Kumar (2008) who reported that high cost of fungicides, lack of technical knowledge in identifying diseases, lack of appropriate spraying equipments and financial problem were the main constraints faced by the farmers in the adoption of practices for cultivation of various crops. Storage and Marketing: Majority of the respondents of both districts (48.13%) had reported poor shelf life which was faced by them in marketing and storage of these selected vegetable crops. About 42.50% and 38.75% of the total respondents had stated inadequate supply of storage material and sprouting of vegetables as other reasons for non-adoption (Table 3). No standard weighing procedure (37.50%), greening of potato (35.63%) and price fluctuation (35.63%), less support price (34.38%), lack of transport facilities (32.50%), physiological losses, power failure and lack of marketing 70

7 Table 3: Distribution of Respondents Regarding the Constraints Related to Adoption of Storage and Marketing Practices (n = 160) Constraints Jalandhar Ludhiana Total f % f % f % Storage and Marketing 1. Poor shelf life Lack of storage facilities Inadequate supply of storage material Deterioration of vegetables Greening of potato Sprouting of vegetables Physiological losses Power failure Lack of marketing facilities near the farm Less support price Price fluctuation Exploitation by commission agents No standard weighing procedures Lack of transportation facilities Note: * Multiple responses. facilitates near the farm (31.25% each) were some of the other constraints faced by the farmers in storage and marketing of these selected vegetable crops. The study further reveal that about 29.38%, 27.50% and 23.75% of total respondents had mentioned deterioration of vegetables, exploitation by commission agents and lack of storage facilities were some of the constraints in the adoption of recommended farm practices respectively related to storage and marketing of these vegetable crops. These findings are in conformity with the findings of Ghandi et al. (2008). CONCLUSION On the basis of the findings of the study, it can be concluded that high cost of chemicals, nonavailability of disease free seeds, non-availability of chemicals, lack of labour, lack of time, lack of technical knowledge, financial problem, poor shelf life, lack of knowledge for identifying insect/pest and diseases, lack of appropriate spraying equipments, inadequate supply of storage material, lack of marketing facilities, less support price and price fluctuation were the main constraints encountered by the vegetable growers in the adoption of recommended farm practices of major vegetable crops. Therefore, more emphasis should be given to some of the most serious constraints, such as lack of technical knowledge, inadequate supply of storage material and lack of marketing facilities. These constraints can be overcome by making provision for easy availability of inputs, storage and marketing facilities and through the distribution of pertinent literature in simple language on vegetable cultivation among the vegetable growers. 71

8 REFERENCES 1. Anonymous (2012), Report on Baseline Data for Potato and Onion, Market Intelligence System, India. 2. Choudhury B (2006),Vegetables, 2 nd Edition, National Book Trust, India. 3. Dhillon G S and Kumar K (2004), Adoption of Improved Metha Cultivation Practices, Indian J. Ext. Edu., Vol. 40, pp George S and Singh A (2006), Vegetables for Health and Nutrition Security, Yojanm, Vol. 40, pp Ghandi V R, Hanchinal S N, Shivamurthy M and Shailaja H (2008), Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Practices Among Tomato Growers, Karnataka J. Agric. Sci., Vol. 21, pp Kumar B (2012), Report on Indian Horticulture Database, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Gurgaon. 7. Kumar M (2008), Role of the Punjab State Farmer s Commission in Promoting the Cultivation of Vegetable and Oil Seed Crop, M.Sc. Thesis, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India. 72

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