An analysis of factors influencing for productivity of rubber smallholdings: A case study in Moneragala District of Sri Lanka
Rubber farming, being a new initiative in Moneragala District in Sri Lanka, plays a key role in national rubber production but still lags far behind in potential. This study was carried out to find the factors which determine the Productivity of Rubber Smallholdings (PRSs) and to find out the strategies for enhancement. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2019, using stratified random sampling. Descriptive statistics and Spearman’s correlation analysis were employed in the methodology. The average PRSs is 905 kg/ha/year on dry rubber basis, which is far below in potential to the average of 2500 kg/ha/year. The majority of rubber smallholdings are in the category of low rubber productivity. Key socio-economic factors; gender, age, level of education, experience of rubber farming, membership of the Thurusaviya rubber society, age of the trees and type of clone did not affect to the PRSs, while fulltime rubber smallholders showed a positive relationship. The number of tapped trees in the land, number of tapping days per year and practice of self-tapping system positively correlated with PRSs while extent of rubber holdings was negatively correlated. The participation in training programmes, instructions given by experienced rubber smallholders and by extension personnel and utilization of CDs and leaflets on tapping and manuaring were positively correlated with PRSs. The adoption level of manuaring and tapping practices in rubber smallholdings affected the PRSs. It is also evident that effective strategic extension plans which include formulating appropriate policy measures, especially focusing on utilization of extension communication channels and mass media, development of rubber smallholdings and adoption of manuaring and tapping practices of rubber farming would eventually improve PRSs for the future for the improvement in performance of rubber farming in Moneragala District.
KEYWORDS: Moneragala, Productivity, Rubber, Smallholdings, Adoption