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Crop Diversification and Income Inequality in Irrigation Systems: The Case of Minipe


BAP Kumari ,

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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SM Thiruchelvam,

Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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HMH Dissanayake,

Agriculture Settlement Scheme, Morayaya, Minipe, LK
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T Lasantha

Divisional Irrigation Engineer, Minipe Division, Hasalaka, LK
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Crop diversification leads to reduction of water scarcity problems and income inequality in irrigation systems. Irrigated areas have been witnessing a slow diversification from paddy to other field crops (OFC) during yala season. It is noted that other than descriptive comparison of the diversification potential in irrigation systems, no research effort has been made to compare agricultural economic variables. In this context, present study examines the determinants of crop diversification from paddy to OFC and explores income inequality in the Minipe major irrigation scheme. Data were collected from 90 farm-households selected from Stage I (head end - H) and IV (tail end - T) of the scheme using stratified random sampling method during April and May 2009. Comparative analysis and the binomial logit model were employed.

The study revealed that OFCs have comparative advantage over paddy for the land that does not get adequate irrigation water for paddy cultivation in yala season. The logit analysis reveals that farmers in responding to crop diversification opportunities are constrained by the inactive farmer organization (FO), markets, and poor irrigation infrastructure. This analysis also showed that the probability of the diversification was determined by family labour, FOs’ collective action including irrigation management and market arrangement. Gini coefficient (GC) estimations showed that there is relatively lower income inequity (GC 0.34) in Stage I compared to Stage IV (0.41). A significant proportion (27%) of total income was derived from non farm activities in stage IV, whereas it was only 10% in the case of stage I. The farmers in Stage IV are keen and prepared for crop diversification. Therefore, enhancement of FO capacity in water management and market-oriented production in the irrigation system is important.


TAR 2010; 21(3): 308-320

How to Cite: Kumari, B., Thiruchelvam, S., Dissanayake, H. and Lasantha, T., 2011. Crop Diversification and Income Inequality in Irrigation Systems: The Case of Minipe. Tropical Agricultural Research, 21(3), pp.308–320. DOI:
Published on 16 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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